Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blockheads Burritos (350 W 50th St Worldwide Plaza - New York, NY)

I had been hearing a lot about this place for a number of weeks so I figured I'd see what all the fuss was about.  I'm just going to throw this out there right now:  Bleh.  Nothing was 'brought to life' from this meal except my food critic wrath. 
I don't get the sock monkey thing.  It's not cute, it's just weird.
 Apparently they specialize in drinks, which makes this a big 'after-work' venue.  And by specialize I mean they are strong, cheap, and plentiful.  They even taste pretty good.  The outdoor seating is also popular,  but the food is a different story.  Before I even dive into the 'taco' issue, let me say that all their food is incredibly salty.  It doesn't have an overwhelmingly salty taste, but you can FEEL it; I took one bite and was dying of thirst the entire meal, and since they don't serve water without a direct request, it feels like a cheap ploy to sell more drinks.  It all makes perfect sense once you realize that the food is rubbish; if they sell more drinks you won't mind that you're basically eating over-priced cardboard.  Let's get to the important things, shall we?

The Taco: 2/5
Seriously, not good.  At first I was curious about the combination of a soft corn tortilla wrapped in a hard shell, it seemed like a combo of the real deal and the Taco Bell version, but I was soon disappointed.  I had three kinds of tacos, shredded beef, pollo, and picadillo (ground beef), one of each type they had to offer.  
Notice how you can't SEE the taco, just a mountain of cheese.
If you're noticing a gaping hole in the menu options that would be the total lack of Carne Asada, which might be forgivable if the rest of the food was tasty, but it's not.  The chicken tastes boiled or simply baked with no marinade.  It's good quality chicken, but the preparation is about as boring as watching golf.  The shredded beef is like a crappy and tasteless version of carne asada, but the picadillo had potential.  If only I could have tasted more of it through the heaping mounds of lettuce and cheese and the double layer of hard and soft shell tortilla.  Get the burrito.

Acoutrement: 1/5
This stuff was just straight out gross, I tried eating the salsas and couldn't bring myself to do it.  First, the salsa they served with chips at the beginning of the meal was basically ketchup.  I think it was a jarred brand on par with Tostitos.  The in-house salsas were even worse.  they were served warm (as in temperature, not spice) and had a sickly/sweet flavor with a texture that reminded me of soggy stewed veggies.  They had a green and red option, both were indigestible.  On the table they offered Tapatio (always a decent option) and that strange brand El Yucateco that I've only seen in New York.  El Yucateco is neon green in color and has an equally chemical flavor.  In general, a big fail.

Value: 1/5
 To be fair, this is just the value of the tacos.  You can get a plate of two tacos (two!) with a bit of beans and rice on the side (not exactly heavy overhead) for $10.  That's ridiculous for tacos.  I wanted a third so I was charged half as much again.  That's a whopping $15 for three tacos and some beans and rice that cost the restaurant ¢.20, I was unimpressed.  The drinks, however, are decently priced for Manhattan, though I will say that the quality of the tequila is about what you pay for.
Other: 3/5
I will grudgingly admit that the outdoor seating is nice.
The drinks are good and go down easy.  I'd try the bulldog, it's a fun combination of corona and margarita, though watch out as it packs a punch.  Also, the place is in a pretty sweet location with a large open patio that feels wonderful in the warmer months.  There's not a lot else to say, though one of my dinner companions did point out the surprisingly large percentage of terribly unattractive people that frequent the place.  Could have just been the day though, we try not to judge; ugly people deserve tacos too.  
Overall Score: 2/5
The only reason this place is not getting a lower score is that I'm sure I'll end up at the establishment again, I'll just be avoiding the tacos.  Honestly, the other food might not be that bad, but if it's tacos you are looking for then run for the hills.  I liked the bulldog quite a bit and I'm sure I'll be back for another eventually, but next time I'll plan on getting a street dog down the road.


  1. You're right about "the other food".. though I do have one complaint about the burrito I had.. CLOSE the thing!! I don't know if they do this at every Blockheads but WHO eats a burrito with TWO ends? And as far as El Yucateco, I love it. Please don't give its neon-greenness a bad rep.

  2. Totally agree about the food. It's just not good and way overpriced, and the service overall at these places is not good. I only go for the drinks and get food because I need to eat dinner. FYI, they only let you get one drink if you don't order food. On a non-taco related note, I prefer the drinks at Dallas BBQ as well as the food and service, even though it's not good quality BBQ.