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ZenTaco Brunch

If there’s one food I can eat constantly and never get sick of, it’s tacos.

So when I was invited to try out ZenTaco’s recently launched brunch menu with a group of press earlier this year, I jumped at the opportunity to visit a restaurant named after one of my favorite foods. Even the fact that ZenTaco is located on the Upper West Side — a neighborhood I’m usually too lazy to trek to from my Long Island City apartment — didn’t diminish my excitement to try this new spot.

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The brunch menu, although a bit small, has enough Latin and Asian-inspired dishes to satisfy most diners, myself included.

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Rather than let everyone order their own dish, servers brought out a slew of options from both the brunch and lunch menu for members of our press group to try, starting with a sampler platter of chips, salsa, guacamole and queso. All three dips were flavorful and delicious, and the chips tasted homemade. Things were off to a great start. 

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As for the drinks, the Bloody Mary Pop, a tequila Bloody Mary garnished with an avocado popsicle, immediately caught my eye. Although it was freezing outside, I couldn’t resist ordering this drink as it was something I’ve never seen before. Both the Bloody Mary and the popsicle were delicious, and although the drink felt a bit out of season, I’m glad I gave it a try.

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Next came another round of food —chipotle and Korean BBQ chicken wings and shrimp dumplings. I passed on the dumplings because I don’t like shrimp, but my brunch guest Rique gave them her seal of approval and was happy to have this dish all to herself. The chicken wings were also satisfactory, and I especially enjoyed the Korean BBQ sauce.

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In between more rounds of food, I ordered another drink. This time I went with The Fressada, a tequila-based beverage with a strawberry lemonade popsicle. This drink was fruity but also packed a punch because of the tequila. I loved this cocktail and can see myself enjoying a few too many on a hot summer day. This and the Bloody Mary were just two of many creative cocktails ZenTaco offers.

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After two strong drinks, I was ready for more food. This time around, we were treated to fried rice, chicken and pork tacos, and my favorite part of the meal — Mexi tater tots. Unlike at many Mexican restaurants in the city, the tacos were a good size and incredibly filling. The meat was juicy, and the toppings were tasty.

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The fried rice is a solid side dish option, but with so many other more creative dishes in front of me, I only had a couple bites in order to save room. As for the tater tots, covered with cheese dip, pico de gallo, crema, guacamole, cotija, and topped with a fried egg, Rique and I devoured every last forkful of these. I would come back to ZenTaco just for this dish it was so good.

The Bitches say: A-. ZenTaco serves up solid Latin and Asian-inspired fare, plus creative cocktails that pack a serious punch.

ZenTaco serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Britteny

Associate Editor

After several years of exploring New York City's brunch scene as an associate editor for Bitches Who Brunch, Britteny packed her bags and moved to the Caribbean, where she currently runs a boutique hotel in Caye Caulker, Belize. When she's not working, Britteny — who still considers herself a Bitch despite the thousands of miles between her and the rest of the team — can be found snapping pictures of her favorite dishes at the many unique restaurants in her new city.

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