Went to Mo Pitkin's on 3rd and Avenue A with two friends tonight. It was quite tasty and fun, but not a super-transcendent culinary experience. I wanted to taste a bunch of stuff and see what would be good appetizer-type food, as I'm thinking of having a party there.
I had the Mo'jito cocktail, which had guava juice in it, along with standard mojito ingredients. It was a little too sweet, even for a drink that's supposed to have sugar in it, but still quite drinkable.
Both of my friends had the Starving Artist Special: a burger and a pint of any draft beer for $10. If the burger is good (and they looked and sounded good) this is a pretty good deal. My friends each also helped me significantly with the huge amount of food I ordered.
First, I got the "crispy" (read: fried) artichoke, which was a pretty big portion and very tasty. I didn't think the romesco sauce served on the side added much, but then I don't like bell peppers very much. The thing that was a very pleasant surprise was the profusion of perfect little fried sage leaves sprinkled throughout the artichoke. I could eat those all day.
There are appetizer plates called "Mo's Pickins" where you can choose six different little things from a list of twelve, and they serve them on a Seder plate with matzoh. Going for totality tonight, I ordered one plate with the first six things, and another plate with the other six. Most everything got eaten, but the standouts were the pulled brisket, which was very tender and had a flavorful, not-too-sweet bbq sauce on it, the chorizo meatballs, which had a grating of Manchego cheese on top and were just as delicious as meatballs made of sausage sound, the chicken liver (especially slathered on the matzoh), the Cabrales blue cheese (again, great on the matzoh, and not pungent to the point of unpalatability for my non-super-stinky-cheese-eating friend), and finally, the spicy asparagus with pine nuts, which was simple, not really spicy, room-temperature, and delicious. The chile citrus cucumbers were a great palate cleanser between different other bites, like ginger with sushi but far more enjoyable in their own right and less of a means to an end.
While they tucked into their burgers, I worked on a plate of the garlic-manchego french fries and the deep-fried macaroni and cheese. The fries were the big crinkle-cut kind, and weren't all that great, to be honest. They were a little greasy and limp, but the flavor was good, between the potato fluff, garlicky greasy stuff, and melty cheese.
On to the main event: the deep fried macaroni and cheese.
I hate myself for eating it, but I'm glad I did. How's that for internal conflict?
It was utterly, preposterously delicious. The serving was two cubes, each slightly smaller than a fist. The cubes were golden brown and sitting in a quarter-inch deep pool of cheese sauce. I sliced one open and steam and goodness rushed out. I dunked the chunk of fry-crust-covered mac and cheese in the pool of cheese and took a bite. It was incredibly tasty: just the right salt, crunch, and goo factors. I pushed big chunks of it onto my friends' plates, and they sang its praises as well. Definitely a must-have, if you can live with the idea that you're eating deep-fried cheese and noodles covered in MORE cheese sauce. If only it was wrapped in bacon . . .
The service was very friendly and accomodating throughout. We had a corner booth in the back room, which was kind of fun.
Overall, enjoyable and tasty. Total bill for all the random food, three beers, a cocktail, and two Starving Artist Specials (a beer and a burger each) was $102 before tip.