Vamos Al Tequila
162 Franklin St, Brooklyn 11222
OK, let’s get one thing straight: Vamos Al Tequila is not worried about plating. They could care less if they give you beans that are vulgarly spread all over the place and totally crossing the border into your Spanish rice or your enchiladas.
It’s also not a place where you can expect gorgeous mood lighting or food that you really can share with your significant other while you gaze at each other’s eyes above a beautifully-exposed guacamole bowl in a molcajete.
It is, however, a place where you can get some of the best-tasting enchiladas, tamales and most well-seasoned beans this side of Bedford-Nostrand. When we walked into Vamos Al Tequila, I was already pretty pumped. It looked like a Mexican cantina, tacky colors, plastic tablecloths and all. I looked at the beer menu and they had Bohemias! This was all looking good. One of the reasons why I was into Vamos Al Tequila when I lived in Greenpoint is because they do what (to my surprise) MOST Mexican restaurants fail to do: make their own tortillas.
But when the boyfriend and I went a couple of weeks ago, now with some distance and many more taquerías under my belt, I was ready to be more critical. At first glance, the menu was so varied that I had a hard time choosing. They have 2 kinds of tacos (traditional and deluxe-y ones that have guac and other stuff on them besides the classic chopped onion and cilantro), they have tortas, they have mole, they have tamales…so after careful consideration, the boyfriend and I ordered tamales, enchiladas and of course, I had to have me some carnitas.
We started off as everyone should—with chips and guacamole and salsa. And the salsa was…gross. No other way to say it. Pretty bad. It was watery and salty and had NO kick. Pass, please. But the guac! The guac was awesome. The avocados were perfectly ripe, the spice was there in all the right quantities, and the portion was good.
Now, for the food—and here is where I go chola on them. OK, first thumbs down is that Vamos refused to serve me one taco. I was FORCED to buy the two-taco order, which already puts me in WTF mode. So basically when the meals came, I looked like the fatty that had ordered two dinners. But it’s all good. It’s gonna be worth it when I have those carnitas. Right? Right??
Wrong. These carnitas are possibly the worst carnitas I have had in my life. They were dry. The tasted nuked. They were chopped too big. I had to not eat it. And I am the eater of all things pork. Like, ALL. And I was also outraged. How in God’s green Earth do you mess up one of the staple taco fillings of Mexican cuisine? Seriously, you guys, I cannot stress how bad these were. Do not eat the carnitas.
But do eat the enchildas, because OMG. These enchildadas were as good as the carnitas were bad. The sauce was perfect in consistency, the tortillas were delicious, the seasonings were off the hook. It was so so good. Everything on that plate was good. The beans were terrific. The Spanish rice was tasty, which is often not the case with Spanish rice. And they topped it with real crema! I was in enchilada heaven.
The boyfriend’s rajas tamales were 100% veg and 100% delicious if you’re into that sort of thing. They were moist yet firm, the dough was not bland at all, and as far as presentation, they were the better ones.
So as far as Vamos Al Tequila goes, here is my final verdict: go if you are in north BK and want some amazing enchiladas. DO NOT go there for carnitas. But if you are in Greenpoint, it is the better of the Mexican joints there. Their carne asada tacos were great last time I went, and their shrimp ones were superb. And I use “superb” or italics sparingly.