The roar of the J/M train created a cacophonous riot overhead as I approached the unassuming spot on Broadway near the BQE. But inside the train felt very far away, or maybe I just instantly forgot about everything that came before once I saw the plates being delivered to tables.
There were sopes piled high with meat, shredded lettuce and crema; burritos painted with salsa and more crema; fajitas sizzling from direct cast-iron heat. And there was tequila.
It may be easy to categorize Mexico 2000 as just another Mexican restaurant, but the spot should actually be your new favorite in Brooklyn. Here’s why:
- There’s a big backyard with comfortable wooden tables, umbrellas and bulb lights strung overhead at night.
- Delicious and affordable pan-Mexican food.
- Affordable prices.
- Free tequila on your birthday (and Cinco de Mayo! This week!)
Sergio Romero, a former server at Delmonico’s Restaurant in Lower Manhattan, opened Mexico 2000 two years ago with Adrian Mejia, the owner of the Mexico 2000 Grocery, located just two doors up the block. The Puebla, Mexico native worked both front and back of the house in the early days.
“I was the bartender, I cooked a little, I was the server,” he said. “It wasn’t easy the first day, but little by little…”
Now, he says, the restaurant attracts both local families and younger clientele from the nearby neighborhoods.
The food at Mexico 2000 is “100 percent Puebla,” said Romero. You’ll find dishes native to his home in southern Mexico, from chile relleños to mole poblano to tacos and enchiladas. But of course, you give the people want they want, too, he said.
“This is America … Chimichangas, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, which is Tex-Mex, but the people ask for it and like it,” he said, adding that fajitas and tamales (about 200 are sold each day) are among the restaurant’s most popular menu items.
I did not go full fajita on my visit, and everything I tried was as good at it looked. The mole tamale was delicious–the corn flavor was rich and the mole just on the line of funky, which is how I like it. Chicken tinga tostadas featured mildly spicy pulled chicken, black beans, lettuce tomato and crema on a seriously crisp tortilla–you could hear the crunch from across the table!
I highly recommend both, and we also finished the meal with a slice of tres leches cake–which was tasty with nice consistency, but only recommended for those out there craving a serious dose of sugar.
Romero expects the restaurant to be busy for the upcoming “holiday,” Cinco de Mayo. And while Mexicans don’t celebrate like Americans do (Romero argues the holiday was started in this country by the makers of Corona), he’s happy to oblige patrons.
And that means tequila, poured straight down the gullet of any guest of age who wants to have a good time.
“Whoever wants to take the tequila challenge, it’s on the house!” he said. “I love Cinco de Mayo because everybody is happy, everybody is drunk. And I make a profit!” They also make margaritas, if you want to cut that tequila with some lime, and piña coladas for rum fans.
Romero says he’ll be wearing his sombrero, too. Look for him and say hello.
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369 Broadway, Williamsburg
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