Okay, I'm no expert -- in fact, I have lingering suspicions against most Mexican food. Apply my apologies where necessary:
CINQUO ESTRELLA's (Five Star's) on Fifth Ave and 58th Street blows my mind. I introduced myself to the place by pointing at specials listed on scraps of paper under the glasstop table. One was "Sammitch Poblanos" or something close to that -- fairly big sandwiches of ham, sausage, beef or chicken with avocado, fresh cheese and I believe fresh sprigs of coriander. The bread is slightly sweet and crumbly, with sesame seeeds. It tasted so fresh and light, it quashed all my ignorant thoughts that Mexican food has to be heavy and greezy.
Also tried some sort of stewed pork joints (another case of the tabletop special) which were rich and savory and delish, if you like sucking on gooey stewed knuckles. (I do.)
And the mole chicken was another mindbender. I have real about mole -- how rich it is, vaguely smokey, possibly sweetish but never "chocolatey". Never have I found it, until now.
*** If this is NOT excellent mole, someone please set me straight, because this is exactly what I dreamed it would be. ***
My primitive-palated boyfriend orders burgers and breakfasts, and he loves the place as much as I do.
5 Stars used to be a grubby diner I'd recommend to no one. Now it's much tidier, more colorfully decorated, with very friendly service from waitresses who happily encouraged me to explore unfamiliar items on the menu.
And cheap! We call the place "Spanish Montreal," because it reminds us of the discount prices we found recently up there in French Montreal.