At 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the streets of the Flatiron district are bustling with suits, tourists with sky pointed cameras, and bike commuters, who weave through the chaos at an occasionally terrifying clip. Breakfast for most of these early risers comes in clutched paper cups from corner rolling carts, and maybe a crusty bagel from whichever chain pastry shop is nearest.
But now, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Cafe El Presidente (30 West 24th Street, 212-242-3491) opened in May, giving the neighborhood a space that is equal parts neighborhood taqueria and metropolitan gathering place. It has since rolled out an updated breakfast menu. Dario Wolos, owner of Cafe El Presidente (and two sister restaurants — one in Montauk, the other tucked onto a corner of Elizabeth Street), explained that he wanted to mold the all-day eatery to feel casual enough for a to-go coffee or freshly-pressed juice, yet formal enough for a business breakfast. “This was inspired by a neighborhood taqueria you might see in Mexico City,” he said.
The new menu includes a number of familiar dishes. You’ll find Mexican oatmeal, huevos rancheros, and breakfast tacos with carne asada built on handmade tortillas, a luxury afforded by the high volume of this large space. Now, the tortillas at all three New York restaurants are crafted by chef Jason DeBriere, formerly of Peels and Barbuto, with a special steamed masa technique that Wolos, who grew up in Mexico, called a “mom and pop hand-me-down culinary tradition.”
After breakfast ends at 11, service rolls into lunch, and then the full taco (and booze) menu becomes available.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 11, 2014