55 Grand St, New York, NY | Directions 1001340.722254 -74.003616
Neighborhoods: Downtown, SoHo
NEAT – I went to Papatzul last night with my girlfriend for the very first time.
We were greet for most of the staff which was a very good start.
We wanted to try some of their signature cocktails so we order a Margarita tradicional and another cocktail made with tamarind.
Then we order a Mayan ceviche, a couple of entrees: Budin al Pasilla and Enchiladas San Marqueñas.
The drinks were brought to the table within 3 mins from ordered.
Both were AMAZING! I'm a bartender myself and was surprised with the flavor of this delicious drinks.
The food was great as well.
The ceviche was big enough to share, colorful and full of flavor.
The main course ended up making our night: big servings of tradicional Mexican food, glamorously decorated.
Will go back soon to try some other delicious dishes of this colleagues of SoHo.
Great food, service & chill scene – We went on a Sunday night and the place was bumping with what seemed like locals enjoying the end of the weekend. Bartender serving the front tables was super friendly and even told us the name of the song we were trying to "shizam" on our ipod. Great margaritas and yummy food. The fresh salsa and guac to start were my faves!
Awful service experience – I've dined at Papatzul on multiple occasions, but I will never eat there again based on an experience I had there a few months ago.
It was a Thursday night, and they were expecting a large party. They seated us, and told us that we would have to be out in an hour and a half. They took FOREVER to bring us our food, drinks, etc, which prolonged our dining time significantly. We ordered hot chocolate after dinner, thinking we had enough time to enjoy it. In the middle of drinking it, the busboy literally grabbed it out of our hands and said we had to leave. He was physically crowding us, pushing into to me and telling me to get up while we were waiting for our check to be delivered to us. When I told him he was being extremely rude, he turned around and shouted, "No, YOU'RE being rude. Get out!" I was appalled by this treatment, and I will never eat there again.
Unexpected treasure! – Hottest day of the year and went for lunch here. This place is down the street from my apt., and it has great AC, so in we go! Gr8 drinks and guac and some of the freshest salsa ever--we ordered another round of it. Then we shared cerviche and a salad w/some of the freshest and lightest dressing--so refreshing! Then we had ome tortilla soup--3 of us could not stop ourselves--and we still did not finish the generous portion. The show-stopper was the fish tacos!! Crispy yet light, with unreal slaw in a soft homemade taco. This is what foodie dreams are made of. Go to Dos Caminos for the outside seating and scene and edgy food, but come here for the real deal Mexicam, drinks, and lower prices. And the AC was divine!
Don't go there! – I've been to NY with my with about a week ago (April 2009). I was so disappointed, I decided that when I come back I should post a note so that other people would be weary of this restaurant.
I have to say the service was good, the food turned out to be the problem. I ordered the duck enchiladas and my wife ordered a vegetarian course. It was greasy, drooling with disgusting sauce and had little resemblance to duck meat in any form (dead or alive). The basic theme repeated in my wife dish as well, to many ingredients with undefined taste.
Bottom line, I truly and honestly recommend to skip this place.
A break from the ordinary – If you like sophisticated and creative menus Papatzul is a real gem. If you want typical tex-mex fajitas and nachos this is not the restaurant for you. The Tlocoyos de pollo are out of this world - I could eat a whole meal of them. Everything we ordered was beyond expectations. The fish/seafood was fresh and cooked perfectly.
This restaurant is a true original - nothing out there compares or comes close to this edgy, contemporary yet traditional menu of Mexican delicacies.
Mexican Heaven! – It?s tempting to order everything, but start with the guacamole: it?s flavored with whatever chili pepper went into it, served in a chunky lava bowl, with tortilla chips that are the perfect size for one generous dip. Then try the appetizer of sliced grilled scallop stacked on a tortilla chip with a sliver of avocado and a dot of tamarind sauce, which adds a plummy, sweet heat.
I learned that Papatzul means ?food of the gods,? and the dish that felt most fit for the gods was the chile relleno, stuffed with butternut squash studded with currants and slivered almonds. Sea bream substituted for red snapper in a whole broiled fish a la Veracruz. It came nicely charred, with a hearty green-olive salsa. Even the rice was good: moist, full of flavor, flecked with red pepper, and threaded with cheese.
For dessert, let the waitress choose. We had ice cream: two scoops of dulce de leche, a delicious flavor, providing a cool contrast to the heat of the meal. What looked like a big cookie turned out to be a garnish of walnut brittle: fudge from heaven. This tasted like the food of gods we would like to be friends with.
Colorful photomontages by fashion photographer Enrique Badulescu on the wall suit the crowd, which is young and convivial. There are also traditional masks hanging, and a skylight makes the room feel high and spacious.
I will probably order exactly the same things when I go back. Plus a Margarita (or two).
Pretentious – I got dinner there last week with my husband and friends, and our experience was pretty bad in lots of ways.
First we were supposed to meet at the bar since I work a few blocks away and I get off pretty earlier than our reservation, so I decided to do some scouting first and stop for a margarita by myself, this is by far the best part in the restaurant, grrrrreat margaritas! (in my opinion the best in the city) bartender attentive, fast and with very impressive knowledge about tequilas. Then the rest of my friends arrived and move to the back room (where the real bad experience is). First, our food came to our table 45 min after we order, the menu was pretentious and confusing, our waiter despite that he seemed to be mexican looked confused too. I've been in Mexico with my family several times and the food lacks of authenticity (is fennel mexican?) the room was crowded and very noisy, the music very annoying. In other words our experience was pretty bad, my husband and friends think the same, we go out together once a month and we felt the same way about this place. the highlights: margaritas, the flautas di pollo, guacamole and salsas. the bad: service, music, the crowd. The worse: the time you have to wait for food.
In other words go for a margarita, STAY at the bar get guacamole, flautas and go home.
Might Be Best Margarita in the City – Went here on a Saturday night, called ahead about an hour to get a table and the place had 1-2 tables empty at peak hour. It's a fairly relaxed place in terms of atmosphere, somewhere between Mexicana Mama and Dos Caminos. The food has some of the standard Mexican items, and some I haven't seen elsewhere. Everything we ate was very good, though the guacamole was fairly conventional for this sated city. The service was good, the place is festive and despite not being too big, can and did accomodate large groups(6-10), and the prices are reasonable for this type of fair and setting. Finally, they may serve the best margarita in Manhattan. Made w/ real lime juice(the only way!), they got the proportions right, and I noticed a large table w/ a pitcher of them. Go!
Great food, drinks, ambience, and staff, the right, unpretentious combination – I felt compelled to write a glowing review of Papatzul because it is consistently a wonderful, relaxed, unpretentious, and flavorful dining experience. I have been to Papatzul almost 10 times since moving back to NY in July 2007. I have brought friends who have themselves become repeat customers. Though my fiancee and I appreciate variety and explore restaurants all the time in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, Papatzul is our "go-to" restaurant, and definitely the first-pick anytime we have visitors to the city.
First, the food is an innovative and stimulating gastronomical experience. The menu has plenty of choice from vegetarian to meat, and the menu is inspired from the various culinary differences that exist throughout the regions of Mexico. Futhermore, the sous-chef is talented and versatile, and has differentiated himself by pushing the limits on the definition of "salsa". One of his specialties, the five-salsa sampler, is a must-have any time you visit Papatzul. From mild to extra spicy, the salsas are unique and have a blend of flavor that will open your tastebuds (and mind) to new heights. Warning though: extra spicy really means extra spicy. The habanero/garlic/cream salsa garnished with chives will heat up even the most spice-accustomed palates from Mexico, India, and Thailand.
Second, the chef and his staff are great people who love what they do and are good at it. The customers treat them well in response and the virtuous circle continues.
Third, the margaritas and sangria are staples at Papatzul, and the bartenders are experienced and enthusiastic mixers. The tequila menu is impressive and try Sangrita.
Lastly, the Slow Roasted Duck Enchiladas in a Rich Almond Mole is so delicious and flavorful that you will feel the desire to order one more of the same main course, even if you've filled up on appetizers leading up to it.
My only fear in writing this review is that I won't be able to get a table when I call the same day.
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