Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Press Dinner: El Maguey y La Tuna

El Maguey y La Tuna: Taquitos al Guacamole
El Maguey y La Tuna started as a favorite local Mexican spot in Williamsburg from 1992-2001. Then in 2003 they made the big move to Manhattan in 2003. At this point Leonides Cortez and his daughter re-opened as a co-owned venture and brought their rustic, homestyle Mexican joint to the people of the Lower East Side. Tonight, they invited me to get a taste of what they are all about.

I started the night off with a glass of Maria's White Wine Sangria and the Taquitos al Guacamole and Ground Beef Empanadas. As a girl, Maria's parents encouraged her to make her own spending money by learning to make empanadas and sell them in the park. This started not only her love of cooking, but also the entrepreneurial spirit that led to her becoming a partner in the business with her father.

El Maguey y La Tuna: Ground Beef Empanada
For the main course we got to sample a taste of each of their moles- I would recommend this approach, because once you make the hard decision of which one is your favorite, you can then choose to have that mole served with any of their dishes!

El Maguey y La Tuna: Mole de 5 Chile
We also got to try their Chile Rellenos which is one of my favorite Mexican dishes, because umm, cheese stuffed in a pepper that is then fried and covered in spicy tomato sauce? How can you NOT love that?

El Maguey y La Tuna: Chile Rellenos
They also have Chilaquiles with theier Verde Mole which they serve for brunch and dinner, so you can get a plate of this yumminess any time at all. Especially convenient for weekends when you stumble out of your apartment late in the afternoon reeling from the aftermath of the previous night.

El Maguey y La Tuna: Chilaquiles Verdes
As the final dish from the main selection, we had the Tacos de Pescado. Smothered in more mole sauce on their soft, house made corn tortillas, and topped with fresh chunks of avocado. We asked for some additional mole on the side, because we just couldn't get enough.

El Maguey y La Tuna: Tacos de Pescado
 Like everything else on the menu, the desserts are also made in house. The Bananas Pinata were a nice way to end the meal. The banana filling wasn't overly sweet like so many banana desserts can be.

El Maguey y La Tuna: Banana Pinata
 Then of course, there was the Chocolate Mexican Cake:

El Maguey y La Tuna: Chocolate Mexican Cake
El Maguey y La Tuna on Urbanspoon

*My meal was provided by the restaurant as part of a Press Dinner.

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