I love guacamole. There. I said it. It’s a deep passion and recent one. When I lived back in Ohio, I never tried it. Then again, who would really want to eat guacamole in Ohio anyway, right? (I should tell you about my San Diego-based brother’s aversion to eating Mexican anywhere outside of SoCal…)
The most beautiful thing I’ve discovered since moving here is not just your run-of-the-mill guac’ and chips appetizers or even the Trader Joe’s take-home version that I put on my chicken nachos tonight; it’s the oh-so-glorious table-side guacamole! (If there is a Heaven and I get to go there, I imagine there will be a hot young man making me guacamole whenever I wish it.)
In the city, most people tout Rosa Mexicano as having the best freshly prepared table-side guacamole. With three locations, the one I’ve been to is at Columbus Ave and 62nd St. The restaurant in general is overpriced liek woah, but I won’t deny that their food tastes damn good. However, if I’m going to shell out $14 for guacamole made to order, I vastly prefer El Rio Grande at 160 E. 38th St. I just like it better there. I don’t know if it’s about how the guys scoop out the avocado or the heavy hand they have with the spices and onions…but their guac’ is by far better than Rosa Mexicano’s. In fact, despite the fact that it isn’t a sauce, I’d say it actually goes on my I-would-lick-it-off-someone scale. (For those keeping track, it joins the maple dipping sauce at Rare Bar & Grill and the sweet barbecue at the Chelsea Grill of Hell’s Kitchen.) I don’t really enjoy their standard margaritas, but a friend and I got sloshed on a pitcher of strawberry ones once and that was quite fun!
The best “deal” for table-side guac’ is definitely back in franchise land: Chevys. I want to say it’s around $8.95 for the same serving size that you’d get at El Rio Grande and Rosa Mexicano, and just as good. NYC’s Chevys is, sadly, right there on 42nd and 8th Avenue, often rendering it chock full of tourists or at least making it really annoying to get to and from. Luckily, the restaurant itself has never had a heinous wait when I’ve been there and in addition to its delicious guacamole, Chevys has fantastic top shelf margaritas — also for a reasonable price.