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Javelina
Credit: Javelina

A cuisine that is unfortunately very underrepresented here in Manhattan happens to be Tex-Mex, or if I could go further than that… southern cooking.  With all of these random and weird fusion places opening and closing all over the city, its good to see places like Javelina expand on a concept that is a simple and classic as peanut butter and jelly, as their Tex-Mex options were nothing short of delicious.

Javelina’s owner, Matt Post, opened up their first location in Gramercy back in 2015.  That location became successful enough for Matt to expand on Javelina’s deliciousness, by heading all the way uptown and opening up its second location in the Upper East Side on 2nd Avenue between 72nd and 73rd street, conveniently located only a couple of blocks from the 6 train.

Matt definitely has the right idea in mind when it comes to blending some authentic Tex-Mex flavors at Javelina’s, as it is something you really don’t find too much of here in Manhattan.  The second location, which has only been opened for a couple of weeks now, provides some great visuals including a fantastic sprawling bar that leads into a bit of a narrow seating area of sorts designed for four people or less.

Something weird that I spotted that sort of made me laugh was that a photo of music superstar Beyonce, a Texas native, was featured on the door to one of the bathrooms.  I can’t quite recall who the other one was, but it definitely made me giggle as I myself partake in the “Beyhive” every once in a while.

A good piece of advice if you are going to Javelina is to simply come hungry.  Tex-Mex food has a way of being a bit heavier than others, so if you come on a half-full stomach you’ll regret it.  That being said, here are the highlights from their very delicious menu.

They actually have a menu category (that I’m totally here for) called “Dips to Share”.  These primarily consist of queso-based dips with one or two exceptions (Guacamole and a healthier dip which I wasn’t touching with a ten foot pole as I was there to eat).  We went with the “Bob Armstrong” which came with traditional queso, guacamole, ground beef, pico de gallo and sour cream.  All really good options that work well solo but also blend very well coming together, especially when you are using a fresh and warm tortilla chip to dunk it in.

I’m also a lover all of all things soups, and their classic version of a Tortilla Soup with all the yummy fixings (shredded chicken, avocado, sour cream, fried tortilla strips and cilantro) really warmed me up on a cold January night.

They have some amazing options on their menu, such as fajitas, fajitas mixtas (mixtures), enchiladas and of course tacos.  We opted for the latter as it was what we were craving, and they did not let us down.  Your best bet in the taco department would be their Brisket (pictured above) with slow cooked beef brisket, jalapeño gravy, onions & mixed peppers, cotija cheese, cilantro and Grilled Shrimp with grilled shrimp (of course), iceberg lettuce, salsa cruda, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, cilantro.  Both had flavors exploding out of each of them, with a great element of spice complimenting the brisket on one and the shrimp on the other.  If you need a new spot to try out in 2018, then I would definitely recommend Javelina for a great night with some great food.

For more information on Javelina, please check out their official website.