South Slope Mexican Battle: Modern V. Grubby

A new Mexican restaurant, Piramide, has come to South Slope. Though technically still in soft-opening mode, the doors have been open for over a week. When the liquor license arrives, hopefully next Friday, there will be a mariachi-filled grand opening party.

The food is "modern Mexican," which is the sort of thing that makes us nervous, but we tried to keep an open mind, even when the crab quesadilla ($12) arrived with its wedges propped upright to make, well, a pyramid. Next to it was a perfect circle of black bean mush with ginger/lime cream sauce swirled in a spiral. If there was Top Chef in the 80s, this is what they would have made. That dish was inexplicably sweet. Why does food always end up sweet when it's trying to be fancy?

There was more -- pecan-crusted chicken ($16), table-side guacamole ($9). Some locals had expressed concern that this place, which is a block away from the neighborhood standby Tacos Nuevo Mexico, would damage the down-and-dirty taco spot. But it might even help it. We rolled over there for a little tequila and cecina sopes and were deeply relieved.

Piramide 499 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn (718) 499-0002

Tacos Nuevo Mexico 489-491 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn (718) 832-0050

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