Wednesday, June 16, 2010

field trip

My older son, Jack, is in that sweet spot between school and camp. Today, we took a field trip to the east side of Manhattan to check out . . . a world-class museum? um, no. a beautiful garden? nope. Those are absolutely places to see, if ever you decide to visit the east side of Manhattan. But we went for tacos and snow cones.

In the mornings, I like to sit next to my kitchen window, drink coffee, listen to WNYC (Yes, Ira Glass, I am a member), and look at the newspaper. This is pretty much right on top of Broadway traffic, so it isn't all that peaceful, but it makes me happy. This morning, I saw this article about shave ice.

I called Jack over to read it, because I had just recently confessed to him that, should all my other work-related plans fall by the wayside, I have a back-up: An ice-cream truck. (My truck will have special slushy-ice-and-frozen-custard concoctions that people will line up for blocks to eat. No college-tuition worries here!)

One of the spots featured in the article was Cascabel Taqueria, on Second Avenue. We decided to go. If you are curious, we walked about a mile south from our apartment and then took the 86th street crosstown bus. Here is our joint review:

Food: Okay, we both ordered the same thing: Chicken tacos. We realize that, had we been more adventurous, we would have a little more to say here. I suppose that professional reviewers order one of everything, but they have food budgets to work with. And here's the thing - the waiter told us the chicken tacos were the best. Which of us would NOT want to eat "the best"? And they were delicious chicken tacos! In Jack's words, "they have a kick, but not too much of a kick." Also, see the fresh limes! Added great dimension. And the double-walled construction made for relatively easy-to-handle tacos.

Jack liked the "masked wrestler" theme. It was, in his words, "interesting." Rebecca wanted a bit more space and a napkin dispenser that didn't take up half of the tiny table.

Rebecca thought everyone was lovely and seemed to be in a great mood. Jack agreed. And at one point, we were given little brown bags that held a treat - a crispy cinnamon-curry smelling tortilla. We are saving them for later.

Snow cones: Jack ordered "the Mexican" (vanilla, nutmeg, chocolate). Rebecca had the blueberry-pomelo. One disappointment: They did not come in the pretty cups pictured in the article. And there was a conspicuous lack of sprinkles. But they were very delicious - fresh and crunchy, great flavor, nothing artificial-tasting. Next time we want to try the flan. Because there will be a next time!