This weekend, we had our first snow in NYC. It didn’t matter how much snow accumulated Friday night, I knew that come Saturday morning I was going to be making my way to the West Village to La Loteria. It was my friend JB’s birthday, which also was the first time I was getting out with a group of friends since Q’s arrival. So. Excited. I can’t even begin to summarize how much I have been looking forward to this. This photo sort of begins to get at it though!
To start, we had to get their guacamole. Definite plus to brunching at a Mexican restaurant! I know all guacamole should be fresh, but there was something about the one at La Loteria which tasted extra fresh and just slightly spicy. With the cost of it, I often skip the guac. This is one spot where you should opt in. Perfect start to the meal.
I couldn’t decide on a main course. The menu had so many stand out options that it was hard to make a decision. There was the Mexican French toast, or various types of tacos. JB mentioned coming in how amazing their Tacos de Fideo are (vegetarian version pictured above). You have your choice of vegetarian (sautéed mushrooms and spinach) or chorizo, which is also stuffed with bird’s nest pasta, tomato-jalapeño cumin paste, avocado, cotija cheese and Mexican cream. Yes, pasta in a taco. Mind blown. The verdict across the board was that it is a winner. I thought the chicken tacos also looked quite good, which were chicken chicharron, guacamole, cotija cheese, grilled pineapple and a chipotle aioli.
I ended up going with their chilaquiles – a baked tortilla casserole with shredded chicken breast, green and red salsas, chihuahua cheese, Mexican cream, red onions and fresh cilantro, all topped with a sunny side up egg. I asked for my egg fried and without runny yolks, which didn’t quite happen. All good though. The portion size was hearty and the dish had so much flavor compared to other chilaquiles dishes I’ve had over the years in NYC. The tortilla strips in the dish somehow managed to maintain some of their crispiness, which was nice to see. Sometimes chilaquiles just ends up being a big mushy mess. They also definitely did not skimp on the chicken!
For dessert, we all found that via the app Swarm, you only have to check in to La Loteria and you get a free order of churros! Churros are my go-to at a Mexican restaurant, so no complaining here.
My experiences in the West Village haven’t always been the greatest, but I have to say this is now one of my West Village standouts. I’d love to come back for brunch again and next time, per our server’s recommendations, it’ll be the Baja style fish tacos for me!
La Loteria – 29 7th Ave South – 212.858.9096