One of the best things about Manhattan is that in a city you could explore for hours, you also have everything you could possibly need in a 2 block radius. For me, last night was the epitome of that. My friend, Zac and I were going to see The Avengers, conveniently located near Lincoln Center, 2 blocks from my apartment. We wanted to grab a quick bite to eat before the movie and our indecisive selves were getting the best of us. We walked onto Columbus and immediately were overwhelmed by a variety of options. Between Crepes, Sushi, Italian, Diners and more, the choices seemed endless.
After standing on a street corner for far too long, laughing and trying to get the other one to make a decision, we ultimately decided on Jalapeño, a Mexican joint with lots of people eating and sipping on margaritas outside. Plus, as a bonus, there was a TV on with the Knicks/Heat game silenced by traditional latin music.
We sat down and immediately they brought out a chips and two salsas.
I stupidly went for the bright red salsa to start, thinking it was more tomato-y then the other. Immediately my mouth was on fire. Chipotle. Not for me. Sipping the water on the table only made it worse (I always remember Gomar telling me about milk being the cure, rather then water). I spun the little container around and dug into the more so brown salsa, that was much sweeter and to my liking.
We ordered the recommended margarita as we stared indecisively at the menu.
The key to a great margarita is the fresh squeezed lime juice. It gives it that perfect bite of acidity that I love. Plus, I am a salt girl, so the rim always makes a margarita just extra special.
We finally decided to split the guacamole to start. After much debate back and forth between a quesadilla and carne asada taco, we ultimately decided on a chicken fajita. I told you, we’re both very indecisive.
The guac came out first, nice and chunky.
After crushing up some of the avocado, we dug right in. At first I thought it lacked a bit of cilantro, but as we ate more, the flavor became much more prominent. Although it was definitely good and clearly homemade, it felt like something I could make at home. But for what I wanted in the moment, it hit the spot.
Then the fajitas came out.
Taking the soft corn tortilla, I spread a little bit of sour cream on the bottom and then put lots of pieces of the sizzling zucchini, onions, peppers and grilled chicken. In between, I took a bite of the creamy baked beans, and then continued on with the sandwich making. Adding a bit of the pico de gallo and finally the guac, I rolled up the fajita and took a bite.
It was awesome.
Despite the seemingly juvenile presentation of the guacamole, Jalapeño kills it with the fajita. The veggies are grilled to perfection and the chicken was nice and juicy. With bites of beans and rice as an interlude, it was the perfect meal before a long, action packed movie.
If I were to come back, the fajitas were really all that was needed. It was delicious and totally hit the spot.
With out bellies full, we then walked the one avenue back to Broadway for an action packed night of 3D, super hero madness. Although this was not the best Mexican I have ever had, for two blocks of choosing, it was perfect for the needs of the night. So wherever you are, go see The Avengers and explore your little neighborhood, there’s always something fun to find.
Jalapeño – 185 Columbus Avenue – New York, NY
Location: Upper West Side
Perfect For: Casual Meal, Quick Bite, Cheap Eats
Reservations: Not Accepted
Favorite Dishes: Veggie Fajitas, Guacamole