New York City Restaurants – Dish Buzz: Mole

Mole - Lower East Side
Mole - Lower East Side

I’ve walked by Mole in the Lower East Side countless times upon leaving the 2nd Avenue subway stop, but somehow had never been in. After seeing “The Wrestler” (not bad) at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, I decided to finally give it a try. From the exterior, it does not look like a large space which proved to be true upon entering. We had to wait before we were squeezed upwards and back into the seating area of the restaurant. There was a seating area in the back left hand corner which was empty although it appeared to be set up for a larger group. There were several people squeezed into their tiny bar area and there were two two-top tables together that they finally split apart to seat us. It was quite a drawn-out process, but we were finally seated.

My sister and I were squeezed into those empty tables along with a couple, who looked annoyed to have been placed so closely to us. They claimed to have made reservations, but the server explained that they only take reservations for larger parties. Point noted. Their menu was fairly extensive, containing the basics like fajitas, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas to less traditional options, such as flounder or shrimp tacos, chorizo tacos, and grilled cactus.

Enchiladas De Mole Poblano - Mole, Lower East Side
Enchiladas De "Mole Poblano" - Mole, Lower East Side

My sister and I are enchilada aficionados so that was our meal of choice. Figuring their name was not without reason, I opted for their Enchiladas de “Mole Poblando”, which were three chicken enchiladas smothered in mole sauce and melted cheese. They came unexpectedly topped with several thin slices of avocados, which proved a nice compliment to the unique flavor of mole. Never had mole? You should try it at least once. It’s got a little extra punch. Due to it’s unique taste, most places will let you try the sauce before you decide to order it, so since there’s no full commitment required, I’d suggest trying it out. Very good.

The enchiladas arrived a bit cold though which was disappointing. The sauce was quite good, although I did not feel the dish justified the $17 price tag. The chicken was average and the portion of the sides was uncharacteristically small for any Latin restaurant I’ve been to in the city. I will give them some credit for bringing out complimentary chips and salsa, a perk not found in many Latin restaurants in the city. Overall, I didn’t feel the value for the price was there. And I felt a little bit like a sardine as my sister and I tried to squeeze ourselves back out of the restaurant. Overall, not bad, but probably not one I’ll put high in my regular rotation list.

Another important thing to note? Cash only.

Mole – 205 Allen Street (at Houston) – 212.777.3200

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