We were told the Tex-Mex trend had reached its apotheosis with the opening of Javelina and El Original, but set aside the queso fatigue because the South’s going to do it again. Avenida is set to open on Avenue B later this week, and it’s claiming it’s “not another fancy, overpriced Mexican restaurant.”
“For years, southern transplants in New York have proclaimed the need for REAL Tex-Mex in NYC,” goes the spiel on the self-styled cantina’s newly launched website. “Tex-Mex, as southerners know it, does not consist of tiny tacos in corn tortillas or $15 guacamole.”
Instead, the guac at Avenida is $8. The obligatory queso (that’s melted cheese, if you’re still uninitiated) will be $7 to $9. The breakfast tacos — available in five varieties — will be served all day. There are enchiladas (including one of the Frito pie variety), quesadillas, and burritos as well. But no sign of fajitas on the newly posted menu.
Beneath the bar, in the old Save the Robots space, is The Mockingbird, “serving up tequila-centric cocktails with the gritty swank of a classic Manhattan speakeasy.” (The mockingbird, in case you didn’t know, is the state bird of Texas. And also, “mocking” Texans is fun no matter how many times they tell us not to mess with them.)
According to its website, Avenida is a collaboration between three Texans and a New Yorker. The Tejas pride shows in a hand-painted Lone Star flag and a wall papered with portraits of famous Texans such as Bessie Smith, the first African-American to hold an international pilot license. Needless to say, the bar will be showing the Houston Texans playoff game this Saturday afternoon, followed by its friends-and-family night.
Clearly, this is the place to be if you’re too lazy to microwave a bowl of cheese and not the place to be if all of your exes are from Texas.
Avenida, 25 Avenue B, bet. 2nd and 3rd Sts., 646-882-0498.