February 1, 2008
NYC Food Guy has been craving good Mexican food lately and despite a lackluster eat-in burrito at Blockheads on the UES over a year ago, I decided to give it another shot, delivery style. Unfortunately the double-shelled grilled chicken tacos ($8.95 for a platter of 2 with rice & beans) were merely mediocre and if that’s not enough, they forgot my chips and salsa.
Where Blockheads went wrong after the break.
Take a close up look at these tacos:
Whenever you’re opinion on a meal is “it wasn’t terrible,” that’s a bad sign. That was just the case with these tacos. They satiated my hunger but they didn’t satiate my desire for good Mexican food.
Here’s why Blockheads’ Tacos were weak:
1) They tasted healthy. While I respect Blockheads stature as a self proclaimed “San Francisco style burrito joint,” offering vegetarian options for everything, plus skinless chicken, lean meat, and steamed burritos, when I order Mexican food, I’m looking for some down and dirty cookin’: Melted Cheese, flame broiled and spicy meat, greasy corn chips, and chunky, fresh-tasting salsa. Blockheads missed the mark on all those points and they don’t even make healthy taste good.
2) Temperature. The tacos surprisingly arrived about halfway before the allotted 30-45 minute window but when I removed the thin plastic top from the tin, the chicken was already lukewarm and the tacos had lost a bit of their crunch.
3) Weak Grilled Chicken. I don’t know exactly how this can be defined as grilled chicken, it seemed to me to be closer to chunks of cooked chicken breast. Bland and boring, I can imagine the pre-cut chunks of chicken sitting in a steaming tin just waiting to be spooned into the tacos.
4) Ordinary Salsa. Continuing with the theme of imagination, I can see salsa being poured from a big jug of generic red goo into the take out cup I received. Strange considering Blockheads list two types of salsa (Cruda & Bambino) on their menu. It was fine, don’t get me wrong, but I like to see a little effort. If Chipotle can offer three types of tasty salsas, can’t Blockheads step up their game?
5) Off-Tasting black beans. These were way off. I’m a black bean fan, always opting for them over pinto and refried. In this case, I’d have skipped them all together. They tasted mealy and almost medicinal. Not good.
I called back and asked for the corn chips and Salsa Bambino. The salsa cruda is closer to Pico de Gallo while the Bambino is described as smoky and spicy. Upon first taste, I’d call it watery and boring. The only cool thing was that the chips, crisp but healthy-tasting in a bad choice at Whole Foods kind of way, came in a Chinese take out container.
NYC Food Guy believes in second chances, but third chances? I don’t think so. I will not be ordering from Blockheads again anytime soon.
Blockheads – Midtown West
Worldwide Plaza – 50th St. b/t 8th & 9th Avenue
5 other locations in the city