- scene: Lot's of "wooh" girls out on the town; casual tex mex vibe without a lot of kitsch
- sip: Margaritas, tequila, Mexican beer,
- savor: Queso, Fajitas, Enchiladas
- sit: With a group of girls if you must; with another couple
- spend: $$
- address: 119 East 18th Street (between Park and Irving Place)
- phone number: (212) 539-0202
- website: www. javelinatexmex.com
Tex Mex food is fun; there is no other way to say it. It is naughty, it is messy, and goes well with tequila, which may explain the lowered inhibitions and raised voices of girls in a Tex Mex restaurant. I don’t know what it is about tequila that makes girls screech, but it does, and they do, at Javeilina. The noise level is the only thing louder than the praise that has been heaped on Javelina since it opened, and after our visit we have to join the chorus- this place is fantastic, in a not so serious, but delicious way.
Javelina is hot hot hot, and we are not talking about the salsa. People are dying to get in here, and lines to check in and to get drinks have been the norm. We recommend going early- even though you will be out quickly (the food flies out of the kitchen), it seems to be the only sure-fire way to gain admittance. The bar area is on the small side and gets packed, so don’t count on that as an option during prime times. Make a reservation.
Our server was a little intense, very eager to push the queso. Drinks took a long time, but again, the bar was slammed. We ordered our queso sampler, and had some bites before ordering our main courses, which were oddly delivered almost immediately. Everything sort of went together, but we could have used those few extra inches on the table. The food was great- I don’t believe that Tex Mex should be taken too seriously, or dissected too deeply. The queso sampler is tasty and gooey, no matter which options you choose. This is to be enjoyed in the way that the spinach artichoke dip at Hillstone is to be enjoyed- you just dig in and don’t think too much about exactly why it tastes so good. The queso is offered as an option with the fajitas, but I recommend just conserving some of your appetizer queso to enjoy with the fajitas, which are properly flavored and come with all the fixin’s. This may sound weird, but we almost liked the queso better after it cooled down and got a little thicker, but that’s just us…
The pork enchiladas are similar to a Tex Mex lasagna, with juicy pork, cheese and spices between two layers of tortillas. They are a tex mex twist on familiar ingredients presented in a new way that is new and novel in NYC. The owner of Javelina was on the floor, speaking to many tables and keeping an eye on things, which is admirable. I am sure there was a lot of eyelash batting because reservations are so hard to come by! Javelina is a loud place, in both volume and flavor, but the food shouts for itself…
P.S. The Pants would love to return soon, wink wink…