A.G. Kitchen
Credit: A.G. Kitchen

Chef Alex Garcia has boldly taken his restaurant A.G. Kitchen to levels that we weren’t necessarily expecting.  His culinary menu goes across several different maps, from chicken to tacos to burgers, yet each stop provides something unique and wonderful with each bite I took.

A.G. Kitchen is located about an avenue away from the 1/2/3 stop on 72nd Street, in my favorite part of the city: The Upper West Side.  I was very excited to try Chef Garcia’s spot out, given the Latin theme it rocks as that has been some of my favorite cuisine to enjoy as of late (especially with some of the food I had at The Diplomat in Florida recently).

The space itself is definitely reminiscent of something you would see down south in Miami, and a fun change from the bland, muted colors most restaurants in Manhattan have been sporting for decades.  Even though the weather outside was under 20 degrees last night, the atmosphere itself made it seem like we needed to be in shorts and a tiki type shirt with our meal.

The menu is divided up in a pretty familiar format, which had some expertly made appetizers, entrees, burgers and shakes that blended very well with one another in a really beautiful way.  There was so much food that me and my guest simply could not eat it all, which makes this writer a very happy guy as the leftovers the day after are still that good.

That being said, here are the highlights from what we ate.  Combining the words “table side guacamole” will get my ears to perk up in a heartbeat, and the mild version of what they created with some fresh and crunchy chips were a great way to start the meal off.

Also, in the appetizer category, their Crispy Calamari with a Dominican Honey Glaze was outstanding.  The calamari was great, of course, but that glaze is something that was finger licking good and made the dish that much better.  Also, for someone who enjoys the sweeter side of things, their Bacon Wrapped Dates were out of this world delicious, and really combined the savory side with the bacon and the sweet side with the dates very well.

For some of their entrees, I would recommend going with their Samba Chicken.  Served Brazilian-style, it is chicken that has been marinated for 24 hours with a sweet chili sauce and tasted simply amazingly.  I’m a huge poultry fan, and A.G. Kitchen gets it right with this flavorful chicken dish that works well anytime of the year.

You can’t miss out on getting tacos here, as they are a bit of a staple.  Two that I would recommend opening your mouth for are their Shrimp & Slow Roasted Pork Tacos.  There really isn’t much that needs to be said.  The flavor profiles are all there, just dive in.

Finally, if you have room left for dessert, their Salted Caramel shake is a great way to finish off the night.  It could’ve been a little thicker (that just may be my taste), but I love a mixture of salt and sweet in my desserts and this one did the trick. Overall a great meal from A.G. Kitchen and I can’t wait to go back for seconds.

For more information on A.G. Kitchen, please check out their official website.