El Parador

This year has zipped by and after Glor’s envious trip across the Atlantic, we finally managed to find time to catch up!

We decided to grab a late dinner at El Parador, close to our apartments on the east end of 34th street. And despite it’s somewhat remote location and discrete storefront, the restaurant has been around for quite some time — almost a homey rendezvous point for anyone who knows it’s there.

While the louder, more elaborate Casaville is just around the corner, El Parador is like the old timer, offering strong cocktails and bona fide Mexican cuisine.

Traditionally heavy in flavor and composition, Mexican might not have been the smartest choice on a late weeknight, but our two entrees were surprisingly subtle. Even the homemade salsa was unique — not cumbersomely hot with a nice little tinge of sweetness.

Glor’s tostada was light, with fresh beans and grilled vegetables. If you’ve ever had a “tostada” at say, a Taco Bell, it’s usually loaded with salt and pasty beans. But this was a refreshing change of pace — substantial in size and retrained in flavor. My trio of fish tacos was unexpectedly light as well. The guacamole was a mixture of avocado and verde sauce, for a faint hint of spice. Despite the Baja California fish being pretty ordinary, the rice and cilantro were nice added elements.

In spite of the location, trekking a couple blocks for authentic Mexican food here may be worth it, especially if you’re in the mood for swanky lighting and tequila with a twist.


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