April 13, 2012

Cascabel Taqueria & the Great Hot Sauce Incident of 2010

Cascabel - 1542 2nd Ave NYC - image via
Oh Cascabel. Your upscale yet affordable Mexican cuisine is fantastic. You're in my neighborhood. Your decor is fun and welcoming. But your service is usually lacking. *Understatement* But the menu and its mouthwatering execution keeps me coming back despite the Great Hot Sauce Incident of 2010. And I finally had a wonderful experience all around during our last visit.

What's the Great Hot Sauce Incident of 2010, you ask? 

Well, it started with a fun Mexican brunch with my husband, my 2 month old baby, my Mellie, and her boyfriend. We ordered plates of food and margaritas. The plates could barely fit on the table, we ordered so much food!

Our meal quickly went downhill because someone on staff didn't do their side work. The hot sauce bottles were clogged and their nozzles gooky. In order to get any of the thick homemade sauces out of their containers, you really needed to squeeze them as hard as you could resulting in a massive spray of sauce.

Mellie attempted to spice up her huevos with some spicy red sauce and after some aggressive finagling, a GEYSER OF SAUCE ricocheted off her chilaquiles into her eyes and hair and all over Savvy and I, staining our clothes, crusting our hair, dotting our stroller with red sauce, smearing my makeup. At the time it was both funny and horrifying, and a huge spectacle at the crowded brunch spot. Thank GOD I was holding Savvy with her head resting over my shoulder. If the hot sauce had splattered on her face instead of her hair there would have been true hell to pay from this mama. I'm still bitter that they didn't comp our meal. They gave us a wet rag and free hot chocolate, but seriously, we were not in the mood to linger.

Cascabel NYC Hot Sauce

One of our first family portraits
But I don't hold a grudge. I've been back several times since then, most recently for "Fiesta Time" with my bff Carrie and Savvy after an afternoon at London Candy Company and Central Park.

This visit was perfect. We arrived at 4:30pm so Cascabel wasn't very crowded, and much to our surprise their amazing margaritas were on special for $6 and several of their best dishes were offered in appetizer-sized portions for $4 each.  

And what a difference a year and a half makes. The salsa bottles were pristinely maintained and Savvy was old enough to serve herself the mild tomatillo sauce. How far we've come!

Cascabel Taqueria Tamale
She obviously wasn't traumatized for life by the Great Hot Sauce Incident of 2010

My little lump of a snuggly newborn has grown into such a huge toddler personality. While Carrie and I sipped cucumber and watermelon margaritas, she entertained us by dancing, showing off the yoga poses she learned in class, taking pictures of her feet and the floor, "reading" the menus ("dah dah DAH dah DAH DAH DAH") and saying "dog poop" over and over like she learned from her Aunt Carrie, all while giggling and bursting with smiles.

Cascabel Fiesta Time $4 Tamale
Cascabel Tamale - $4 during Fiesta Time, 4-7pm

Carrie enjoys a cucumber margarita

Bursting with smiles

Savvy walks around like she owns the place

1 comment:

Your Mom said...

#1. You look AMAZING for having a baby 2 months prior. Seriously, seriously amazing.
#2. You are a much stronger woman than me, because I'm pretty sure I would have gone insane on these people (which may be why my partner rarely takes me out in public)
#3 I am a sucker for "upscale yet affordable" Mexican and this place is now definitely on my list



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