Here's an annoying question for the day: What does the Complex staff do when they're not tip-tap-typing away at the Internets? Well, we beef with rap legends; we play high-stakes video games to get in movie stars' panties; we have zen moments with Teutonic rock stars. Oh, and we eat, drink, club, and wander off to scenic vistas and smoke spliffs, just like regular people. And to let you get acquainted with us a little better (yeah, we know, just what you wanted, right?!?), we're introducing a new column called My Spot, where we tell you where we do the aforementioned things (eat, drink, club, and spliffed-out wander). Today, Senior Editor Jack Erwin (@JackEComplex) chats up what he thinks is the best Mexican food in New York: Chavella's in Brooklyn.
Let's say you have friends visiting from L.A., and for some strange reason (maybe you're a horrible person, who knows), you want to scare the shit out of them. Of course there are lots of ways to spook Californians in big, bad NYC, but next time try this: Take them to Classon Avenue in Crown Heights and show them the block where the methadone clinic is across the street from the live poultry wholesaler so they can see some truly desperate motherfuckers on a couple different levels of the food chain. And then take them up the hill to Chavella's, a Mexican restaurant that doesn't serve burritos. That's right Cali kids, a Mexican restaurant without a single rice-and-bean stuffed tortilla-pillow. Frightening place, huh?
All kidding aside, Chavella's is some of the best Mexican food in New York (at undoubtedly the best prices), and not just because it subverts the dominant Mission-style burrito theme. If anything, the mantra is "Keep it simple": soft tacos in a variety of styles (fish; mushrooms and poblano peppers; pork and pineapple), quesadillas (Huitlacoche FTW), and their signature tortas (the aquacate con queso with chipotle mayo is not to be trifled with). They do the big numbers well, too (saucey chiles rellenos and a Thursday-night bistec ranchero that should come with a wheelbarrow to get you home), but if you can hit a spot for a sandwich and a beer and get out spending less than $15 (tax and tip included) why get fancy? Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and the place gets crowded, so get there early or be ready to wait with the rest of the junkies on the sidewalk.
732 Classon Avenue (b/w Park and Prospect)
What's your spot? Hit us at @ComplexMag and tell us where the place to be is where you are with the hashtag #myspot.