How does this new eatery match up to Chowpatty's favourite New Yorker?
Chowpatty's veggie favourite, New Yorker, has been a hotspot for desi Tex Mex fare. How does it match up to a new entrant, also named after the Big Apple? Phorum Dalal does a comparative taste test
Memories come flooding back. Just out of 10th grade, in the early 2000s, we sat at New Yorker and ordered a plate of nachos, burritos and enchiladas. The latter got the reaction: "What is this dal dhokli?" That's how little we knew about Tex-Mex. A Western cousin of the uncooked wheat strips simmered in yellow dal. It's 2018, and we're poring over puzzle sheets that have been synonymous with the cheesy nacho experience at this Chowpatty restaurant that reopened a week ago. The revamped interiors retains the Statue of Liberty mural on the wall. Here's what we tried:
Bang on burrito
Like a neatly packed suitcase, the contents of this chunky roll, cut into two, are held in a tortilla wrap. Mexican rice, a little too dry, and beans give us a first taste of the burrito. More on the sweet side, the taste develops once we hit the jalapeños, salad and salsa. It comes with a side of crispy (we are guessing it's Camy) wafers.
7 layered dip nacho
We transcend seven lives and enter heaven with every layer of this jar dip. First, it's guacamole, followed by sour cream, diced tomatoes, mixed olives, Mexican beans and spring onions, and all the while NY nacho cheese sauce has kept our palate greased and how. The home-made rainbow nacho tortillas are corn-based - treated to beet and spinach for colour - and are thicker than regular. We religiously dunk in the mush till we reach rock bottom.
Original sizzling brownie
You haven't ended your meal the right way if you have not had a spoon fight in the wrought-iron hot plate balanced on a wooden tray. In the middle of a bubbling ocean of hot chocolate sauce sits a royal brownie with a vanilla ice cream scoop crown. Crunchy cashews, the treatment of hot and cold through fudge and milk, this brownie is just as we remember it: sizzling.
New York Burrito Company
We take a detour to Hanging Garden to settle our stomachs before round two. Two hours on, we enter quick-service restaurant, The New York Burrito Company, which wants us to make our own burrito. Sure, if only the service was quicker. Three staffers are working on one order, in-between dealing with multiple takeaway orders. Here's what we tried:
Burrito bowl (sans tortilla wrap)
We are happy to wait our turn patiently - because we have had a heavy snack - to begin choosing the ingredients for our bowl. The steps are divided into mains and hot and cold toppings so we choose mushrooms, and Tex-Mex veggies. We ditch the rice for black beans and salsa, and opt for dollops of guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, jalapeños and ensalada de maiz (a corn and bean salad).
Compared to New Yorker, the flavours are more vibrant. They don't veer towards a sweeter taste, to woo the Jain, Gujarati and Marwadi crowd in the vicinity. But the salsa is synthetic, leaving a stinging after-effect on our teeth. Our fellow taster compares the sour cream to tasteless raita (because it's watery). We miss the fluffy whipped mousse consistency from our earlier meal.
The tortillas are crispy, but there is nothing nachos about the dish. The cheese sauce is a thinner, poorer version of Cheddar sauce. A bite or two and we move on.
Dragon fruit lemonade
The fruity pulp is tasteless and there's hardly any zing of lemons. We crave the orange mojito muddled with mint leaves from next door.
Red and yellow interiors are proof that it's adapting to times. Its signature Statue of Liberty mural ensures high customer recall value.
The ambiance in white and green is inviting and we picture students and professionals hanging out over lunch here.
Seasoned staff is prompt and friendly; our server was well informed and gave suitable reccos. The order was on our table within 5-7 minutes.
Things would be a lot smoother if the service was more prompt; as a QSR concept, this is a given. Should have opened after ironing out problems
Economically priced, the sharing portions are filling for two.
The cost for the quantity is apt, with the burrito bowl making a filling meal option under Rs 500.
AT: 25, Fulchand Niwas, Chowpatty Seaface, Chowpatty.
TIME: 12 pm to 12 am
AT: Shop 1, Ground Floor, Plot 25B, Fulchand Niwas, Dr N A Purandare Marg, Chowpatty.
TIMING: 11 am to 11 pm
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