(guest eater Sam, not an employee)
La Hacienda (aka Mojitos)
116th St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave., New York City
Word of mouth is the best way to find the real places to eat. Sam knows Leo who is Mexican and highly recommends Hacienda. Given vague directions, we venture out to Spanish Harlem craving some authentic grub. Of course, the directions Leo gave were wrong and with Sam’s Spanish severely lacking, we enlisted the help of a local who pointed us in the direction of Hacienda. Lights off, gates closed, and orange Dept. of Health stickers greeted us. Not good. We helplessly turned to the good samaritan who said Mojitos (3 doors down) was just as good. But lo! Soylent green is people and Hacienda is Mojitos. The owner changed locations (hopefully not to dodge the DoH).
Green and Red Salsa
The interior was newly renovated and indeed it looks as if they just moved in; hmm…I wonder from where? The free chips and salsa es muy bueno. The red salsa was fresh and tasty but the green salsa was FANTASTIC. Tangy with fresh herbs and almost mayonnaisey. It may sound ick but just trust me on this one. Sam was disappointed with his pork carnitas ($10) as they were “too authentic” tasting. What more can you ask for? Skip the nachos ($7), we ordered those out of pure hunger. The steak burrito ($10) was cooked well with plenty of that grilled flava. The rice filling was perfectly flavored, as many “mexican” joints usually get this wrong. They also nailed the red sauce on the plate: not too overpowering but just enough to complement the burrito. It tastes like they may use lard in the cooking which, depending who you ask, is a good or bad thing. As a diehard burrito eater, I recommend. Menu also offered more adventurous (meaning authentic) items for those looking for the real deal i.e. tongue or cuitlacoche…
7 out of 10 chili peppers
Authentic Mexican flavas
REALLY good (and free) chips and salsa
Has a bar with Mexican beer on tap and good place for groups
The nachos, do not order
Maybe they were short-staffed but food took forever to come out
What DoH violations did Hacienda have?