Chilaquiles Migrate North to New York Menus

Belgium boasts its waffles. Japan's sushi customs have spread the world over, and French fries are in every happy meal across the globe. So, what foodstuff to we credit Mexico with exporting? You could say it's tacos, but perhaps another option might be chilaquiles.

Corn tortillas, or totopos, topped with salsa or mole to soften them just enough to make them pliable without taking away their crispness. A flurry of cheese. A spoonful of crema. What's not to love about this typical brunch dish?

Well, it seems Manhattan restaurants are picking up on the appeal of chilaquiles, as many have started featuring their own versions. Using the typical base, all sorts of additions are being thrown into the mix.

At the West Village Empellon Taqueria, not to be confused with the Bowery-located Empellon Cucina opening in mere days, there's maitake mushrooms and a sunny-side-up egg crowning the dish, and for an extra $4 skirt steak as well.

You may head to JoeDoe at brunchtime to investigate chef Joe Dobias's claim that his biscuits are the city's tops, but while you're there it's worth looking into the chilaquiles. The Chilaquiles Al Tulum features additions of chorizo and avocado, making this East Village spot a Sunday afternoon destination instead of a Prune backup plan.

There are pretty posh versions just north of Union Square, at Mesa Grill, and at both Julian Medina's Theater District Toloache and his newer Upper East Side location, Toloache 82. But if it's past 2 p.m. and a craving rears its head, there's no better place then Kips Bay's El Parador. There you'll find the "goo" and the chips served separately. Scoop some of the cheese-heavy, fundido-esque concoction over the chips and have a few sips of margarita as they soften. It's perfect for sharing and served at all mealtimes.

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