THE EARLY WORD ON 2 NEW RESTAURANTS: MEXIKOSHER AND MOTORINO

mexikosher3
Nick Solares and Katsuji Tanabe dig into some MexiKosher sandwiches.

We’ve been hearing some early buzz on two new Upper West Side restaurants, and frankly they’re making me hungry.

Eater’s Nick Solares headed over to MexiKosher, the new Mexican-Kosher spot at 100 West 83rd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam, to talk to chef Katsuji Tanabe. Learn about his brisket cooked in duck fat, his “naughty” French Dip sandwich, and other such low-fat low-flavor dishes.

And Motorino, which just opened at 510 Columbus Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets, received this funny and slightly profane review from Yelp.

“One could hardly be more excited for the neighborhood Subway to make way for one of New York’s most notable pizza chains. Yes, the Upper West Side is slowly being colonized by the East Village. Yes, this now means we have pizza restaurants literally on every corner at the intersection of Columbus and W. 85th St. Yes, it’s a further sign of the encroaching affluence that is gentrifying so many New Yorkers out of the neighborhood, but fuck it. Because pizza. So anyway I’ve been to many Motorinos before and this one is also pretty awesome. Beautifully designed, so small a real estate agent would call it cozy, and energetic with enticing aromas wafting in from the kitchen and yet it still manages to maintain a romantic atmosphere. I guess I’m finally at the age where I’m starting to call things ‘hip’ which literally means I’m no longer in a position to judge such things, but the place seems pretty hip. Come at least once. Also, the pizza is good. And you can pair it with chilled, sparkling red wine, which is a little weird, but it grows on you.”

FOOD, NEWS | 70 comments | permalink
    1. Lois says:

      Threw out back so will be brief: THE BEST pizza I ever ordered in in my 16 years on the UWS

      • Yossi says:

        woww, that’s a statement

      • UWS40 says:

        You missed Vinnie’s. The only authentic Pizza on the UWS.

        The family was from Brooklyn and the place was packed all the time. At the end people were asking for extra cheese, which is a no, no. Obviously transplants.

        Mr. Lombardi started turning in his grave. He brought Neapolitan Pizza to New York.

        Now we have fake pizza.

        • dannyboy says:

          “fizza”

        • adam says:

          Ah- Vinnie’s was truly excellent and I still miss it. Really great “New York pizza.” Motorino is certainly a different style but is still an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Whether someone likes that style is just a matter of individual preference.

        • Christina says:

          No! Sal’s and Carmine’s Pizza is the best! IMHO. I’ve Been going there since a kid in the 70’s.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            Sal & Carmine’s = $3 for a slice that has cheese and sauce missing from the upper quarter of the slice. Extremely skimpy on the cheese and sauce application in general. Too salty for my taste as well. I see no appeal in this pizza place at all.

        • geoff says:

          agreed. vinnie’s was best in its original incarnation, before it expanded. had a good juke box too.

        • 92nd street says:

          Gentrification refers to Big Box establishments and National Chains not tiny Pizza Joints.

          Motorino is an excellent cheap-food addition to the Upper West. This part of the neighborhood with H&H on slate to open soon is looking great again. I’d love to see Lucy’s and McGlades reopen across the Ave, but after 15 years of fast food, this is a nothing less than excellence.

        • Richard says:

          What pizza do you say is fake? Motorino?

    2. Motorino…..$3.50 for an 8oz coke on a delivery order!

      • Kenneth says:

        Roger, Do you make money on guitar strings? I bet you do. Simple solution – don’t buy their delivery soda.

      • geoff says:

        on a related note, those who drink Coca-Cola only from glass bottles—‘Mexican coke’—should know not all ‘retrro bottled’ Coca-Cola is made with sugar.

        often the 8 ounce bottle is filled with Coke made with corn syrup. only the 10 ounce bottle usually contains Coke made with sugar.

        also, kosher Coca-Cola will probably be made with sugar, not corn syrup.

        to be certain, read the list of ingredients printed on the bottle.

        $3.50 for an 8 ounce bottle of ordinary united states coca-cola is bad value.

    3. UWSHebrew says:

      The salads you get at MexiKosher are fantastic. But the actual portion of meat you are given is shockingly small, so it’s just not worth it.

    4. Mary Ann says:

      We had their pizza and it was not to our liking. The topping were very sparce and only in the center of the pizza which left us with a lot of bread to eat. The beet/anchovy salad had one anchovy on top of some simple tasteless beets PERIOD.

      • Brenda says:

        I agree about the pizza. too much bread and not enough cheese either. Didn’t have the salad and don’t intend to go back to try it. I’ll stick with Pizza Pete.

    5. Michael says:

      The pizza was soggy, not crisp like it should be. Hard to believe anyone thinks this is a great pie. Good, no. Average, below average. Sorry, but no going back. Kale Caesar was too creamy and not much taste.

    6. Cato says:

      I would have given more weight to the Yelp review were it not for the self-described hipster’s need to rely on gratuitous use of “the f word”, particularly to dismiss the fact that “so many New Yorkers [are being gentrified] out of the neighborhood”. “But f–k it”, he chortles.

      I’ve long been on record as distressed about long time residents being chased from their homes by the swarms of wealthy overwhelming our neighborhood, and I don’t accept, or respect, “f–k it” as an appropriate response. But beyond that, Mister Hip, if you can’t write a simple pizza review without swearing, your opinion really isn’t going to carry much credibility with me.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “I don’t accept, or respect, “f–k it” as an appropriate response. But beyond that, Mister Hip, if you can’t write a simple pizza review without swearing, your opinion really isn’t going to carry much credibility”

        RIGHT-ON, Cato !! Way to go !!

        Glad that some people, like yourself, are determined to stop this society’s ‘race to the bottom of the trash bin’

        And, NO, it’s NOT an “age thing”…good manners should be part of EVERY AGE GROUP, no matter how “hip” a person is desperately pretending to be.

        • Independent says:

          I absolutely agree with Cato and Scooter Stan about the obnoxiousness of the gratuitous use of the “F word”.

    7. Miles says:

      I ate there. Small, maybe eight small tables inside, a few more outside. Good pizza,fresh ingredients, continental style.

      Mosr impressive six delivery guys out front, being very busy hauling pizza.

    8. dannyboy says:

      “Yes, it’s a further sign of the encroaching affluence that is gentrifying so many New Yorkers out of the neighborhood, but fuck it. Because pizza.”

      coldhearted

    9. wcsnyc says:

      WSR – Did you really mean to say that MexiKosher’s food is “low-flavor”? If so, it sounds like a must miss to me.

    10. Steve B says:

      Went to the UWS Motorino Saturday night. Place was packed, pizza was terrific. 28 chairs in the place; 14 two-tops that can be pushed together for larger parties. Lots of fun, and welcome to the neighborhood.

      • Cato says:

        I imagine I am in the minority these days, but I don’t go to a pizzeria for “fun”.

        • dannyboy says:

          most have pizza available. that’s my fav part too.

        • Independent says:

          I’m glad you weighed-in here. Fun at a pizza joint? Left unchecked, there’s no telling where such decadent frivolity could lead, what depths of sordidness we could reach. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing people talk of fun in (gasp!) ice cream parlors!
          We simply cannot tolerate this depravity! Speak-out and stomp it out now, before it’s too late!

          • Cato says:

            When ice cream becomes “fun” instead of a treat, we’ll have an obese nation.

            Oh, yeah — right.

            Food should be good to eat, not “fun”.

    11. Sarah says:

      They don’t deliver north of 96th St., though, which is some 1989-level BS. (Yes, they deliver further away to the south.)

    12. adam says:

      Oh the irony of Nick Solares reviewing a kosher place!

    13. Christine E says:

      Curious, why are the reviewers wearing gloves? Will taste the food but not touch it?? And gloves may alter the foodie review experience — touch, texture, glove vs food smell, etc.

      • Christine E says:

        If they were working in the kitchen, but now are eating, they have to change the gloves to return to the kitchen… so why not take them off to eat…

    14. Gretchen says:

      Mexi-kosher sounds like a contradiction in terms. And what if you want some pulled pork in your taco? Is it seitan or Satan? I’ll stick to the real thing and enjoy hell with the Mexicans.

    15. Mustafah says:

      Vinnie’s. Totally overated. It was good if you like oily pizza that was overly salty, served by crusty old men who were nasty. You had a choice to stand and eat it or you could sit in the back, if the 2 tables were open sandwiched in between the garbage can and toilet. Yum. I’m not missing it, I can’t understand why people are nostalgic for abuse

    16. Mustafah says:

      Scratch my last comment, I meant Sal & Carmine’s. Vinnie’s was good. Sorry it’s late.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Sal & Carmine’s = $3 for a slice that has cheese and sauce missing from the upper quarter of the slice. Extremely skimpy on the cheese and sauce application in general. Too salty for my taste as well. I see no appeal in this pizza place at all.

      • dannyboy says:

        move my Reply down to here

    17. RF says:

      I live in the 80s and love Mexican food, so I was excited about a new option. Disappointed to see that there is virtually NOTHING vegetarian-friendly on their menu. I guess I’ll stick with my cactus tacos and roasted potato enchiladas from Oaxaca for now…but if anyone has suggestions for UWS Mexican restaurants that have at least a few good vegetarian options, I’d love to hear them!

      • Cat@lynn says:

        Have you tried Cafe Frida on Columbus btwn 77 & 78th?

      • dannyboy says:

        RF,

        as a vegetarian for over 45 years, i can give you a piece of advice.

        tell the waiter which ingredients you would like left out of the preparation. if the dish is prepared fresh, that will pose no problem to the chef. often it will spur the chef to think of something better for you.

        i have never gone hungry in a restaurant doing that.

        • RF says:

          Definitely a good option in a restaurant, but this place appears to be primarily a takeout/eat at the counter place…the menu has you pick one “style” (ie: rice bowl is “choice of meat over rice”) and then one “meat.” I suppose you could skip the “meat” and just eat the rice, but my guess is that a fast-casual place wouldn’t be set up for special pricing, so you’d end up paying $13.99 for a bowl of rice, or salad greens with no meat on top. Could be wrong, but not sure I’ll go out of my way to try it. I will check out Cafe Frida, though–they even have a couple of vegan options, which is nice to see.

          • dannyboy says:

            “wouldn’t be set up for special pricing, so you’d end up paying…”

            yes, always

            the restaurant targets a certain dollar for your bill. changing ingredients won’t lower it.

            • Independent says:

              Reminds me of one of the gags that can be heard in a vintage recording of the old time radio show “Candid Microphone” that can be heard at this link. The man with the hidden microphone goes to a restaurant, requests all kinds of adjustments in the offerings on the menu and doggedly remonstrates with the waiter when he denies them. Funny stuff.

            • dannyboy says:

              looked it up

              re·mon·strate
              rəˈmänˌstrāt/
              verb
              3rd person present: remonstrates
              make a forcefully reproachful protest.

    18. js says:

      I saw a truck delivering whole pizzas to this Motorino. How fresh can they be??? How about instead of yet ANOTHER high-calorie, low nutrition, over priced food joint, a health food store or a nice laundromat or … ? that better serves the REAL needs of this neighborhood.

    19. RK says:

      Motorino is real Neapolitan pizza. Do not compare to a ny slice joint. All comments – not crisp enough, not enough cheese- is characteristic of Neapolitan pizza.

      Motorinos is awesome.

    20. lis says:

      Wondering….how does Motorino compare to Sirenetta (relatively new) on Amsterdam Avenue?

    21. mo says:

      The space that Motorino occupies is not the old subway it was the nail salon. The subway space is still up for rent.

    22. dannyboy says:

      while we’re on the topic of pizza, i got a question.

      Why does West Side Market, when they sell a variety of fresh bagels, also sell Thomas’ bagels?

      is there some rarefied taste that i missed?

    23. just went to moto. outstanding. won’t have to leave nabe for lahey’s Co.