El Original: Tex Mex in NYC is a downer

el original - NYC tex mex - guacamole

Dear Food Diary:
I was excited for a Tex Mex in the neighborhood. But after the warm fresh tortilla chips, great salsa and a little overpriced guacamole, the rest of our dinner was a total downer.

el original - NYC tex mex - drinks chips
I really wanted to like this place. My “Crying Dove” (Cabeza blanca tequila, fresh lime, Jarritos grapefruit sodam chile, cumin salt) was good. The complimentary warm tortilla chips were crisp. The salsa had a nice sweetness and tang. The guacamole was fine…

Seemed like a pretty good start.

el original - NYC tex mex

Then we waited… and waited… for our main course.

It is their soft opening, so we kept it pretty cool about the whole wait situation, none of the fellow diners got their food either. Plus, we were taking our aunt and uncle out (they came from NJ), so tried to chit chat and distract. We haven’t seen them in a while and had a lot of chat about (phew).

We asked our waiter (he was nice) several times, you could tell he was embarrassed and helpless… We got more chips. No manager ever came to apologize. If anything, most front of the house avoided any eye contact.

Over an hour and 3 bowls of chips later, we finally got our order.

el original - NYC tex mex - chile relleno
Chile Relleno with Chorizo
To say it looked sad is an understatement. This was $19! Seriously? Taste wise it was ok, but nothing like the dishes I’ve had in Texas.


el original - NYC tex mex - fajita with chicken and beef
Steak and Chicken Fajitas
Again, it tasted fine. The meats were both a bit on the dry side, but edible. StalkerHubby was so hungry at this point, he didn’t care. Though no one around the table was impressed at $24.


el original - NYC tex mex - fish tacos
Fish Tacos
I don’t know how you could make a fish taco look any more sad. This is from a James Beard Award winner? Seriously? Maybe the tortillas are made fresh, but the lackluster filling kills any romantic talk of “hecho by hand” aka handmade. $18 for 2 fish tacos with rice and beans? I’m use to NYC prices, but this is ridiculous.


Even with the underwhelming experience, we were talking our aunt and uncle out, so decided to give dessert a try in the hopes of saving their night in the city with us.

el original - NYC tex mex - dessert
Chocolate flan and Tres Leche Cake
At $7 each, the flan was way to dense and thick for my liking. The tres leches was ok, but seriously, we didn’t finish either.

I know they just opened and have things to “work out” but waiting over an hour for entrees that in no way shape of form represented a James Beard Award Winer. If the manager had come to ask about our experience I would have been more than happy to share my thoughts. But no one ever came. No one said goodbye when we left. No one seemed to care, at least about our table.

I’m ok with waiting if the end result made it worth my time. But the food lacked heart. It didn’t hit that comfort food spot. I hope things get better, as of now, I’ll look for Tex Mex elsewhere.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 2.5

735 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019

El Original Tx-Mx on Urbanspoon

3 Responses to El Original: Tex Mex in NYC is a downer

  1. Danielle GEE says:

    Yikes, too bad. The drink looks good though!

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