If you love Tacombi, a Mexican restaurant in Nolita and one of my favorite spots, you’re going to love its younger sister, Cafe El Presidente. It has the same menu as the former, but with expanded options and an even more airy, open atmosphere — if Tacombi is someone’s backyard, Cafe El Presidente is the whole city. They have the same practices though — food made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients.
On a Friday night, it was buzzy and crowded but with a bigger floor plan you’re not rubbing elbows with fellow patrons. I went recently with a friend and we basically ordered…everything.
Starters to order: Guacamole, esquites (grilled corn con cotija cheese & chipotle mayo), and ceviche guerrero (fresh local fish in lime juice)
If you’re going to order one (why, but OK), the esquites are not to be missed. Cafe El Presidente has a lot more taco options for vegetarians too: maize y poblano (Grilled corn and poblano chile topped with chihuahua cheese), black bean and sweet potato (sautéed sweet potatoes over Rancho Gordo beans), bongos chamula (sautéed mushrooms), and frijoles con queso (beans with chihuahua cheese)
. Of course, they’re known for their Baja Crispy Fish (Baja-style local cod battered and fried), so if you’re new you have to at least try this with their homemade sauces. If you’re not, try their picadillo de angus regio (beef picadillo tacos), or pollo yucateco (slow roasted free range chicken).
I was so excited to see that they had shrimp back on their menu (sonoran shrimp, a spicy shrimp taco with cabbage). The waiter warned me it was going to be spicy but I told him I can handle it. But guy, fair warning it’s really spicy and it wasn’t the original creamy shrimp they used to serve at Tacombi which I was expecting. Still crying for them to bring that back.
We should have stopped here but we wanted something sweet so we got their chocolate and dulce de leche cake (which was a perfect accompaniment to a creamy latte):
Finally, if you’re looking for a lighter drink, they have fresh pressed juices everyday. We tried their verde (apple, celery, kale, pineapple, lime and mint), and naranja (papaya, carrots, pineapple, and orange).
A delicious meal satisfying every craving we had. We practically had to roll ourselves out.
Occasion: Trying something new
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: Yes and with more friends