Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 04/08/2015
Photo: Michael Tulipan
- more in dining/
119 E. 18th St., 212-539-0202, Gramercy, Manhattan
Tex-Mex food hadn't garnered much respect in the City until Javelina came to town. A stampede has occurred virtually every night since the place opened in Gramercy in March, as packed as a cattle car from 6pm until closing (better make a reservation, go at lunch or arrive no later than 5:30pm if you hate to wait). The festive, yee-haw hospitality is abetted by frozen margaritas and Shiner Bock on tap. Texas-style queso—melted cheese—can be dressed up with jalapeños and roasted poblanos, skirt steak or chorizo, among other embellishments. Warm tortilla chips battling for a scoop make the dip disappear way before it has a chance to cool. Other Lone Star standards, such as enchiladas with red chili gravy, sizzling fajitas, chicken-fried steak and slow-cooked beef brisket tacos, supply the type of comfort that make homesick Texans put hands over their hearts.