I needed to get away from Thomson Ave. for a while. Yes, it’s raining and very cool outside, but my restlessness doesn’t care about the weather. To my outermost delight, Jackson Ave. was the tonic I needed to drink. (With some cool places to eat and explore too…)
A little bit of Greenpoint, Brooklyn in Long Island City, Jackson Ave. nearby Vernon Blvd. and the Pulaski Bridge (where Brooklynites drive on to get working in Queens on their cars and bikes), is very chill and cool, where hipsters set up many shops, and where the sensibility of 1990s is still alive and kicking. It was a instant love-at-first-sight when I stepped out of 7 train at Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave.
However, this a food blog. I needed some Mexican food. Hence, The Creek & The Cave.
I tend to favor Tex-Mex. This is a Cali-Mex establishment. Okay, fine. What I learned about Cali-Mex is that they REALLY love sour cream. And, luckily for me, they use a lot of vegan-friendly materials. (Daiya cheese, however, is a mixed bag when it comes to taste and texture. It just isn’t like real cheese at all. There, I’ve said it…)
High points on the fresh salsa and tortilla chips. 4 types of hot sauce on the table, like Cholula (yes), and a big, green bottle of water all to myself. The waitress was friendly and warm, a delicate hipster blond with thick bangs.
I ordered the chicken enchiladas with vegan cheese/sour cream. No problem with that. There were three types of sauces: verde (mild, the waitress’s fave), spicy and mole (described as “sweet”. Hmm…interesting). I took her advice and ordered the verde with black beans and white rice.
The Cali-Mex joint was soon filled to the brim, even with the rain. Even the playlist rocked, including Radiohead’s “Creep”, The Beatles “Don’t let me down” and The Rolling Stones :”Beast of burden”. Approved!
But what about the taste?
Thanks to the Cali fondness of sour cream, you will need some hot sauce. Thank God for Cholula, ye heavenly waker of taste buds. And the chicken (which was real, boiled breast meat) wasn’t shredded or had any spices on it, which was a bit disappointing. (This is why Tex-Mex rules over all…). I really should had ordered the mole sauce, at least. The beans and rice were very good.
And…my neighbor’s burritos were HUGE!!!! Very impressive.
The only art on the walls, besides the flower petals balled lamps overhead, was a series of colored photos of many faces, like selfies from smartphones or the random dorm art of faces made of instant cameras, like we used to do in the 1990s.
I wish I was here during happy hour so I could try the margaritas. And I wish I wasn’t eating alone.
However, as happily found out instantly as I left the establishment, I could see the Citibank building nearby. So, in the cool, cool rain, I walked all the way back to Thomson St. via Jackson Ave. It took 25 minutes, including the walkaway on Thomson. when the influence of Greenpoint, Brooklyn receded into a fond memory, quickly merging back into Queens once again.