I always struggle finding good food in Midtown Manhattan, but last year I stumbled upon this spot, and I have been back a few times since.  It is a great place to experiment a bit with your palate.  I have yet to get up the nerve to try the Oaxacan style dried grasshoppers tacos, but I have dined at Toloache at 251 W. 50th St. several times, and really enjoyed everything so far.

My most recent visit was another great experience.  We started with a traditional guacamole, they have staff making guacamole nonstop, in front of the brick oven that cooks several of the dishes.

Fried Brussels Sprouts

I’m not usually a fan of the brussels sprouts, but these, with what I think was cotija cheese, were so good.

Pescado Taco – Baja-style tilapia, spicy jicama slaw, and guacamole

Fresh and light tacos with a delicious crunchy slaw.  I predict my next lunch stop in Midtown will be for these tacos.  The fish tacos are a perfect lunch bite.

Costilla & Tuetano Tacos – Beef short ribs, bone marrow, roasted red onion jalapeno chiles toreados, Thai basil

For a bit of a heavier bite, the beef short rib tacos were perfect, and what made them perfect was the bone marrow on top of them.  And to wash all of that down was a nice cold Margarita.  Toloache has a great list of Margaritas, from sweet to spicy and finally traditional.  I went with the sweet and had a Skinny (Agave Nectar instead of sugar) strawberry margarita.

Though we didn’t stay for dessert this visit, I have had the Tres Leches Cake, and it was, in a word, awesome.

The great news about Toloache is that it is open for lunch, brunch and dinner, has 3 locations, and the service is great.  Although it is a bit noisy, it is a great place to dine and enjoy the bar.

The Toloache brand is led by Chef owner Julian Medina.  He has an awesome road to success story.  After being discovered in Mexico City by Chef Richard Sandoval, he became Chef de Cuisine of Maya, an upscale Mexican restaurant.  And the kicker that is the most impressive, he still decided to pursue a culinary education at The French Culinary Institute.