Mercadito – East Village, NYC

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a margarita, some guacamole and great girl chat. My dearest oldest friend was in town recently for work and following a busy week for both of us, we decided to meet up for a couple happy hour margaritas followed by a delicious mostly vegan dinner. Luckily, I knew of a great little Mexican place close to her art exhibit in the East Village – Mercadito.  The first time I’d seen the restaurant was while we were covering the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy last year. Back in May, my dinner club met here – and it was great to see the place back up and running. The other night it was just as good as I remembered – and just what we needed. Strong drinks, to-die-for guacamole (we went through two orders) and vegan-friendly and easily adaptable.

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We started at the bar with the first round of guac and margaritas. It’s a teeny tiny place and the bar was crowded but after we moved to the back room for dinner we had plenty of space. We started with another round of margaritas and guacamole.

IMG_2006IMG_2005We decided to share dinner, and started with fried plantains and rice and beans. I didn’t eat the sauce with the plantains, I’m pretty sure there was creme involved there, but the plantains were great with a little guac or by themselves. And yes, there was a little cheese on the beans, I ate around that.

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For the final round, we tried to order the hongos tacos (wild mushrooms, tomatoes and crispy potatoes) without cheese, but the waiter warned us the mushrooms were cooked with butter. Instead we gave him and the kitchen full rein to make up some sort of vegan taco – and what they came up with was delicious. Zucchini, cauliflower, and avocado with some very spicy mole sauce. I loved these little bites of amazing. They were a little too spicy for my friend, but I would go back and eat them again and again.

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All the way on Avenue B, it’s quite a hike to get over to Mercadito, but definitely worth it. If you find yourself over there, order a margarita on the rocks with salt, start with some guacamole and enjoy!

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