Mexican food is possibly my favorite cuisine. I have come to find that there are two kinds of Mexican restaurants — fake and authentic. I found El Vez to be in the middle. As far as the food goes, I felt the authenticity. However, I didn’t feel it in the environment as well as the decoration of the restaurant.
The decorations are flashy and colorful. The bar is located in the middle of the restaurant. Rotating at the core of the bar is a bike, which is lit up. The walls are covered in large and vibrant tiles. Lights hanging above tables all vary; some are covered in dashes of color and pictures, others are circular tins and some are even different than that. The booths and chairs are unique in their colors as well. Obviously, this restaurant is splashed with different hues, creating a fun atmosphere, especially for a younger crowd.
As all great Mexican restaurants do, El Vez has specific spots for guacamole, nachos, salsas, margaritas and cocktails. It has an assortment of quesadillas, fundidos, ceviches, soups and salads, enchiladas and tacos. The main reason I went there was because I found an article on Food Network’s website with a list of where to get great nachos from coast to coast, and El Vez was on it. Its Food Network-worthy nacho dish is called Nacho Mamma. For $10, I received a large pizza pan-like dish with nachos laid out, topped with black beans, smoked chile salsa, crema fresca, white cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses. The nachos were the most satisfying dish that I have ever had. They had all the elements of an enticing entree of nachos that can possibly be desired.
My dad ordered the oxtail enchiladas, an entree for $14. The dish consisted of salsa guajillo, Chihuahua cheese, crema and red onion. Neither of us had ever had oxtail before, and we are both fans of trying new foods. We were pleasantly surprised, for it tasted like brisket. Along with the enchiladas came a side that had a rice, bean and a vegetable concoction, but we never found out what it was. Both the entree and the side were scrumptious. Unfortunately we did not order any drinks other than water, but according to the waiter they are known for their margaritas, as many Mexican places are and should be, in my opinion.
The location is great; El Vez is right in Center City, on 121 South 13th St. For any native New Yorkers out there, they also have a location at 259 Vesey Street New York, New York. The price is affordable and even cheap for the quality of food that we received. In addition, the service was great; our waiter was polite and sociable, and we were served within 15 minutes of ordering even though we were there at their prime dinner hour. I found nothing wrong or negative about this restaurant — El Vez receives a five out of five stars from me and I would recommend it to everyone.