368 Columbus Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1002440.780803 -73.976321
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Upper West Side
The nice thing about Cafe Frida, that Upper West Side standby, is that it serves two totally different kinds of diner: the Manhattanite who just wants some fajitas on a sizzle platter, accompanied by a cold margarita; as well as the gastronome who knows all about the rural and regional cooking of Mexico. The neighborhood is longer on the former than the latter, which is why their double-barrel approach is such a credit to them.
Unexpectedly good service – I read all the reviews and basically expected the waiters and waitresses to beat me up when I entered the restaurant, but the service was actually fabulous. Perhaps the restaurant is making a concerted effort to improve or I just caught them at the right time, but our waiter couldn't have been more attentive - the minute my pomegranate marguerita had just a sip left he was at the table asking if I wanted another (which I definitely did - they were fabulous). We had two or three people different people waiting on us throughout the course of the night and they were all pleasant, courteous and prompt. The food was lovely: homemade guacamole at any mexican restaurant is a must and this one is no exception, homemade tortillas, delicious drinks, etc. I went on a wednesday night so maybe the fri/sat scene is more hectic and the staff is less patient, but I couldn't have been happier with the meal/service. I will definitely return.
really good food, questionable service – This spot is an old reliable for my wife and I since we live a block away. It's always crowded here and service is average at best. The food however is very good and ambiance is nice. Definately worth trying.
Guarenteed Horrible Service – Have been twice (not by choice) and both experiences were extremely negative. First exposure was a Friday night party of 5. Hostess immediately interrogated us about our dinner plans/expectations for dining. As soon as we sit down they are already rushing us out the door, telling us there is a minimum of $20 per person to sit... we were already well over and still ordering. Frustrating! 2nd experience was a saturday, party of 2 at about 5-6pm. Hostess was curt and rude again with a hollier than now pre-madonna attitude. Refused to seat us b/c only party of 2... there were 6 empty tables (seating for 24). The waitress came over took our silverware and menus away and had the hostess storm over and try and escort us to the bar to order. 1 Problem... the bar was full! Idiotic service.
GREAT despite a few minor hiccups – I loved this place and would go back again. The food was deliciously fresh. The decor was warm and fun. I'm sorry I didn't get the sangria...it looked fabulous. This would be a great restaurant to go to with a group of friends. It's lively, yet romantic. The appetizers are really tapas sized, but the entrees are plentiful. The dessert was huge too...flaming plaintain...yummy. The quesadia was terrific, my lobster salad was delicious, my boyfriends fajitas were sizzling with flavor. My only complaint would be the service, when we first got there the waiter repeatedly asked for our order, he pushed the guacamole (which never appeared even though we ordered it), but then he disappeared and we kept having to ask the busboys for help. The waiter seemed very overwhelmed and scattered. Even so, it was a very good evening and I'd go back to Cafe Frida again and again.
Great Ambiance- and that's pretty much it. – They brought my mother a chicken enchiladas instead of cheese and then it took her 10 minutes to explain what the error was to the waiter and bus boy who then finally had to tell the manager who was also confused and my mother is fluent in Spanish. When they finally came they weren't very good she could've gotten better ones at a hole in the wall Mexican place for a third of the price. My entree also fell short grilled King Prawns- they were either not very fresh or over cooked. The corn souffle I had on the side was really good as well as the chips and guacamole we had as an appetizer. I had a pommegranate Margarita which was delicious. The decor of the place is really great I would go back for the drinks, and guacamole with some friends or on a date.
Highlight of our vacation – We stumbled upon this place and we're so happy we did! They accomodated us - a group of 9, plus a toddler and a baby asleep in a stroller - in a prompt and friendly manner. The food was great even though it was a little on the pricy side. Definitely recommend the sangria!
finally real mexican in NY – The greatest mexican restaurant in New York City with all the flavors you test when visiting Mexico and the service from the moment you step in this colorful restaurant you are greeted by a hostess with a beutiful smile.
Treated like Trash – I was meeting 3 friends on 1/28; I arrived at 6:30 and asked if they could accommodate us (leaving by 8:15) no answer. At 7 we ask for a table (again), they begrudgingly agree, warning us that at 8 they need the table back (Weve already spent $60 - squeezed at bar.) 10 minutes later were seated in the ? empty restaurant.
Another 10 minutes a waiter arrives. I ask for the check at 8:10; they immediately clear our table forks in mid-air; taking unfinished cocktail & breaking glass 5 from my hand! No apologies from the staff 4 giving us rude, unfocused service nor an offer for a complimentary cocktail due to crap service.
I worked on the floor of a restaurant for 2 years and now work for a leading restaurant magazine - this is not how service should flow.
What a Gyp! – We we were greeted by a rude hostess, but I was still willing to give Cafe Frida a chance. She refused to seat us, despite several open tables. We ordered an appetizer at the bar-- two small unflavorful tacos for $10! It was not enough to share. We ordered dinner and again requested to be seated. She said she would seat us only because we were leaving in an hour, despite the open tables. In less than an hour, they cleared our table. They took away our chips and guacamole before we were finished eating. They broke the glass of my friend's drink before she had finished it and didn't offer her another or to take it off the bill. Cafe Frida is NOT worth the money or the headaches! The quality of the food and drinks is average, if that, and the ambiance is forced. What a rip-off!
Not they fault – We went to Cafe Frida during Mexican restaurant week as well, they explained to us that the organizers of the so called Mexican week had done a really poor job (we had gone to other Mexican restaurants and we were told the same story). Whoever organized the resaturant week made a mistake with the dates. We stayed and we had a BLAST!, GREAT FOOD, SERVICE and they even gave us a round of driks on the house. We consider is fair to explain this. We are coming back this week end already. Gracias muchos!
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