My love of authentic Mexican food came about at an early age. My parents were both South American so I wasn't getting exposed at home, but I our church community was disproportionately Mexican (not surprising given our parish was Our Lady of Guadalupe). While I consider NYC one of the best places on earth for diverse food options, I often find the offerings of authentic Mexican food to be few and far between.

For a while now, I've been walking by El Ranchito del Agave (476 9th Ave, Bet. 36th & 37th streets) and keep telling myself I have to go back and try it. Yesterday, as I stood outside scanning the menu, an eager employee walked out and invited me in to take a close-up look at their weekday lunch buffet. How could I resist such an offer. From the sidewalk, you can't really see the big dining room space in the rear of the restaurant. I'm generally wary about buffet's and my fear about a Mexican Buffet was that every dish would be some variation of tortillas, cheese and beans. My fears were for naught. My tour guide apologized for what he considered a small assortment and explained that they scaled down the buffet to account for less midtown traffic due to it being a Jewish holiday. I assured him he had nothing to apologize for.

I was ecstatic to see some Mole Poblano (be still my heart) and even happier when I was given a taste and not disappointed. Wanting to provide you all with a better sense of the food quality, I purchased a plate to go ($4.99 per pound). The roasted chicken with mushroom and scallion sauce was fantastic. There was a pan of white rice but I went for the yellow rice with vegetables, which was perfectly cooked and met my requirement of not being instant (I HATE UNCLE BEN"S). Bean fans had two options: Pinto & Black. I tried the black, which were creamy and flavorful (I can't wait to try them on a torta, Mexican sandwich).

If you haven't already gotten my drift, I'm recommending you head over to this jewel of a restaurant. I can't wait until my next visit so that I can cozy up to a table and sample my little heart out.

El Ranchito del Agave 476 9th Ave, Bet. 36th & 37th streets
$8.99 All You Can Eat Lunch Buffet, Monday - Friday, 11 am to 3pm

May 20, 2010 Posted in | , , , | 0 Comments »

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