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Mandy Oser Gets Her Mexican Fix at Cafe Frida

New York City is home to a lot of restaurants, and among them are hidden gems the majority of New Yorkers just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share with us their under the radar recommendations for Dining Confidential.

2011_12_cafefrida.jpgMandy Oser the owner of Ardesia Wine Bar in Hell's Kitchen lets us in on her little restaurant world secret, Mexican Upper West Sider Cafe Frida:

"Usually dining out for me is about checking out something new, something far afield and out of the neighborhood. But every so often when energy is lacking or weather is bad, it's nice to stay close to home...really close to home. I live on 77th and Columbus and steps from my front door is a small restaurant called Cafe Frida. While it might not be sporting the latest in restaurant high design, it is a comfortable and cozy little spot. Dim, cozy lighting, small but comfortable bar. It's the kind of place where the staff is friendly and after you've come in a few times, they learn your name and your favorite drink. They have strong and tasty caiparinhas and margaritas, by the way.

What I like about the food is that it's really consistent and it's not just overly heavy standard-issue Mexican fare. My go-to dish is the tampiquena, which is grilled skirt steak, served wtih a dollop of guac and a cheese enchilada, and of course their delicious black beans and rice. Yes, kinda reminds me of the combination platters of the Mexican food restaurants of my youth in suburban New Jersey, but this dish is actually prepared well!

They also have really terrific empanadas, the kind that gets the crust just right and you can make a meal of those and a glass of wine easily."
· Cafe Frida [Official Site]
· Previous Editions of Dining Confidential [~ENY~]
[photo credit]

Cafe Frida

368 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

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