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Restaurants & Bars 24

Casa de Elian--new Mexican on Metropolitan

cmoore618 | Jun 3, 200811:19 AM

Given my perpetual search for new and better Mexican in my neighborhood, I was very excited to see this little restaurant open at 104-20 Metropolitan Avenue. The menu is small, as is its space of only about 12 rustic tables-for-two (plus a not-yet-licensed bar), but what I sampled was fresh and delicious. For lunch yesterday I ordered an elote asado to start--fantastic! The corn was perfectly roasted with nice little charred bits, lovingly coated in melted butter (instead of mayo) and generously coated with cojita, cilantro, and chili powder. A squeeze of lime and I was in heaven. The tortilla chips seemed homemade--warm and cut into uneven strips--and the spicy salsa brought me right back to my southwest roadtrip last summer (not a pico de gallo syle but a pureed tomato base with a hint of chipotle smokiness). My significant other loved the pastor tacos--here, rubbed with adobo and folded with chunks of pineapple. I enjoyed the marisco taco--the seafood was tender and well seasoned in a light tomato sauce. The best part is that this taco truck quality food (and as Chowhounds know, that is a compliment), although served in a brick-and-morter restaurant (in Forest Hills no less) has retained its taco truck prices--only $2 for each taco ($3 for the marisco). I was a bit disappointed that there was only one of the fresh tortillas on each taco--not the two I'm accustomed to--which I can see getting soggy if carried home instead of eaten on the spot. My salad was delicious, but not what I expected from the menu--I ordered the ensalata de aguacate which was described as sliced avocado and hearts of palm over guacamole pasted romaine, but came instead as romaine tossed with cucumbers and guacamole, with a side of vinaigrette. The guacamole was fantastic, so I just ate it scooped onto those awesome tortilla chips instead of as a forked entree. Perhaps they are still re-working the menu (which also includes soups, tortas, gorditas, and assorted tacos). Go and enjoy!

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