Gran Eléctrica, located near the Dumbo waterfront in Brooklyn, is a cool spot. The inside, though small, has a great décor and vibe – mainly I was obsessed with the black and white Mexican skeleton wallpaper, a reference to Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada. The main attraction though is the outdoor patio area, which is large for New York standards and has its own bar and bathroom area to boot. Aside from the look and feel though, I’m not quite sure what the hype is here. Though the cocktails are fantastic and the beans are the best black beans I’ve ever had, I thought everything else was fairly average or outright bad – and it doesn’t really make any sense to come here to sip on a cocktail while eating a bowl beans. The tacos were good enough that if someone else were to suggest this for cocktails and the outdoor patio, I’d oblige. But all in all, I’m just left feeling – what’s the big deal?
Margarita de Toronja Picante: This cocktail was comprised of habanero-infused blanco tequila, Combier, lime juice, fresh grapefruit juice, jalapeño syrup and spicy grapefruit salt. I actually can’t think of anything better sounding – I love grapefruit, jalapeño and tequila, and the combination of the three made for a fantastic cocktail. It was slightly spicy and slightly tangy, though neither flavor was overpowering. I could have sipped on this all night. Everyone else at the table also seemed pleased with their cocktail orders.
Ceviche: This ceviche was composed of market fish, orange, jicama, avocado, red onion and cilantro. This was okay. I thought it was a bit bland and flavorless and not particularly original in any way. I’d skip it.
Guacamole: The guac here is pretty good. It is basically smashed avocado with garlic and lime. Usually though, I prefer when chopped onions and jalapeños are smooshed into it, or at least some other form of additional flavor and texture. The chips were also very thick, which was weird. I ended up liking them more than I anticipated, but I still prefer a thinner chip. This was definitely good enough to order, but I’ve had better.
Carnitas (right): The tacos here to me are very bare bones. Though the simple pork shoulder, cilantro, and onion tacos were definitely tasty, again I just feel like I’ve had better.
Suadero (left): Beef Brisket, onion and cilantro.
Chorizo Con Papas (Quesadilla): This is quite possibly the worst quesadilla I’ve ever had. It is made with house-made chorizo, potato and quesillo cheese and sounds like it would be pretty great. No – it basically tasted like cardboard. I can’t decide if the issue was the tortilla or the cheese, but this was a flavorless mess that I couldn’t even chew down. I even ordered a side of crema, which I thought might help the situation, but that didn’t help either. I also don’t think there were any potatoes. If there were, I couldn’t find them.
Carne Asada: Char-grilled citrus marinated skirt steak, cumin, coriander, fried yucca, and chilito.
Frijoles de la Olla: This was far and beyond my favorite dish. It was black beans, avocado, oregano, onions and queso fresco, and it tasted fantastic! There was so much flavor and the texture was just perfect. I also liked the ratio of beans to avocado to onions to cheese. It was such a perfect combination.
Gran Eléctrica: 5 Front St Brooklyn, NY ($$)