Location: 118A E 15th St, New York, NY
Best Dish: The Chipotle Shrimp Tacos were excellent. There were juicy spicy shrimp in every single bite!
Overall: A trendy casual Mexican eatery with upscale plating at reasonable prices. The right spot for a quick meal and a long night of tequila and mezcal.
Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays; you can find them any day of the week at Camacho’s Tacos & Tequila Bar and Restaurant. Camacho’s is in a prime location, just across the street from the artists and chess players flooding Union Square Park. The restaurant is dark, but inviting with exposed brick walls and distressed wood furnishings. The interior is illuminated by the soft pink glow of a neon sign proclaiming one of tequila’s super powers. The rear of the space is littered with just a few tables flanked by four flat screen TVs, an assortment of sombreros, and sugar skulls gracing the walls.
We settled into our seats and looked over the menus. Camacho’s is one of a few places in the city that boasts a drink menu three times the size of its food menu. There are a wide assortment of beers and tequilas as well as a few unique cocktails to quench your thirst. We highly recommend sampling one or two of their crafted cocktails. We started off with the “Besos Picante” and the “Macho Melon”
The Besos Picante is a spicy sweet blend of Jalapeno infused tequila, pineapple juice, and agave. The flavor is sweet and subtle with a spicy finish.
The Macho Melon is a smooth refreshing mix of fresh watermelon, Cointreau and a unique strawberry melon infused tequila.
To go along with our delicious cocktails, we had indulged in some guac. The guacamole was superb. It was creamy and rich with thick chunks of smooth avocado and bits of spicy jalapeno.
Most Mexican restaurants bombard you with extensive menus spanning several pages but ultimately offering the same flavors. Camacho’s keeps it simple with an appetizer menu of classic Mexican dishes, street foods, and an assortment of tacos as entrees. While you may not be able to get a burrito here, what you can have is a beautifully presented plate of authentic Mexican finger food. Our appetizers arrived almost too pretty to eat. We chose a trio of some of our favorites snacks; guacamole with chips smoked chicken flautas, and q-dillas. The chicken flautas were crispy on the outside but filled with warm tender smoked chicken. Fomr an extra boost of flavor, we recommend adding a dash of the complimentary Mexican Hot Sauce at the table. The sauce is tangy, not hot and adds just a little more citrusy flavor to the dish.
Quesadillas are a favorite of ours and Camacho’s serves up the tastiest mini quesadillas we’ve had in some time.
After our appetizers, we turned our attention to the entrée menu. Camacho’s doesn’t serve just any old taco, each variation is handcrafted with ingredients that complement each other for maximum flavor. We ordered the “Chipotle Shrimp” and “Cerveza Battered Fish” tacos. The shrimp tacos are spicy and well seasoned, served on a soft tortilla with chopped avocado, jalapeno cabbage – slaw and crema. The fish tacos are made with a beer battered white fish and served on a soft tortilla with chopped avocado, pickled red cabbage, chipotle aioli, and a squeeze of fresh lime. The lightly battered fish was enjoyable and the pickled cabbage and tortilla added some texture and crunch. We also recommend using the Mexican hot sauce on this taco for a little extra flavor. The sauces tanginess works well with the thick meaty fish without taking away from the chipotle aioli.
We had a good time at Camacho’s and can easily see ourselves dropping by for a happy hour or a bite to eat. In addition to its food and beverage offerings, Camacho’s also offers a relaxed atmosphere. The bar has a unique vibe that is both sophisticated and comfortable. It is the kind of place that locals meet up for happy hour or a quick dinner. With its reasonable prices and expertly crafted menu, Camacho’s is poised to become Union Squares favorite new places.