953 2nd Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1002240.755252 -73.968452
Neighborhoods: Midtown East (Turtle Bay), Midtown, Midtown East
Great food!!!! – Love this place. I've been going there for many years and don't get tired. best margaritas and salsas in town. got all her books too!!!!!
Good fresh salsas. – Don't expect your mother's food ( if you are Mexican). the Margaritas are very good, the salsas as usual are fresh not like some other places where they give you ketchup with Tabasco as a salsa. the problem here is that they are charging for everything, if you want rice or beans which usually come with your food in any other place, they charge you. the owner is old now and not there most of the time, therefore the place is going downhill. by the way she is not from Oaxaca as a lot of people think, she is from El Paso, Tex. that explains why the food is not as good as people expects from an authentic Mexican place. I would always go back for the margaritas and the salsas. I keep my jacket so I don't have to pay "coat check" Lol.
NICKEL AND DIMING – I went with my family a few days ago. Upon arriving we were asked to give our coats to coat check only to realize it costs $1 a piece!! C'mon!! We were seated, the waiter took our drinks and then informed us that the 2-1 special was for bar seating only- it was too late as by then the drinks had arrived. My mother is a vegetarian and there was literally NO entrees for vege's-only sides which was disappointing. I casually ordered Tabasco or any type of bottled hot sauce...the waiter brought habanero sauce whcih was awesome except he failed to tell me that it would cost $2. The food was mediocre at best. I've had better Mexican in Manhattan. All in all- we were disapponted with the service, food and nickle and diming. Our bill between 5 adults + 2 rounds of drinks was $115 + tip. needless to say- Zarella did a lousy job in convincing us to come back.
excellent authentic mexican cuisine – A wonderful experience...fresh, delicious, and unique flavors combined with friendly, knowledgeable service made ours an excellent evening out. Pan-fried plantains with mole sauce, pork shoulder slow roasted in avocado leaves with sour oranges and habanero pepper relish. The desserts were outstanding--almond crepes with dulce de leche and amaretto ice cream, pecan-kahlua-chocolate pie. The manager came to suggest a Mexican wine that paired quite nicely with our dishes. Definitely a Turtle Bay highlight.
Beware of Pick Pocketers!! – I recently ate at Zarela's and while enjoying delicious food and yummy margaritas, my wallet was stolen out of my purse. I had it when it came time to pay the check, but we decided to stay for another round of drinks. When the second check came, my wallet was gone. Needless to say, this was a very upsetting situation and the staff at Zarela's couldn't care less. The extent of their help was looking around with a flashlight for about 5 seconds, never offering to call the police, comp a drink, question a staff member, or even an apology. Basically, if you decide to go here, watch out for your stuff! Who knows if this place is regularly targeted or if it was an inside job, but either way, dont expect any sympathy or even a decent human social skill from the staff at Zarela if it happens to you!
Not Fun. – A group of 5 went to Zarelas, the margaritas were good, the service was horrible. Empty plates were left on our table, we all ordered margartias, appetizers and some entrees. But still were forced to order more because of the minimum per person; which we weren't told about til after we all had settled and ordered drinks. My entree was forgotten, and the waiter reassured me it wasn't my fault. Who says that? I however, still had to order more food which I told them to put in a to go box. The waiter didnt seem to know the menu because when he was asked if one entree could be shared between two people he said "yes" when in fact it couldn't be. It was overall the worst mexican restaurant experience I have ever had.
Rude Service, passable food – After hearing all the hype about this place, I went there with a group of six. I ordered a pork dish, and almost immediately bit into what turned out to be a piece of a broken plate. I obviously had to wait for a new dish to arrive, but the waiter/manager failed to comp us a drink, or even my new entree, simply saying that it was enough that we didn't have to pay for the dish with the broken plate in it.
Frozen Margaritas Baby! – The margaritas are made right! The most I've ever heard anyone drink is 4 or 5!
And the tasty food will keep your blood-alchohol level below .2%
Call a cab!
tasty food - poor attitude – I've been eating at Zarela for years and have always enjoyed the food and Margaritas. I find it to be one of the best mexican joints in the city, although the attitude at the door is a big turn-off for me. Regardless, its hard to find really good mexican food here, so we keep returning and once seated, and sitting in front of a nice margarita, its all OK, just don't expect 4 star service!
Solid Mexican in a Festive Environment – Zarela's is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the city. The aptmosphere is festive and the food is nothing to sniff at. Don't come here expecting to have a civilized and quiet meal. It can get rowdy and loud. But if you are looking for good food, a fun environment, and a decent value, come to Zarela's.
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