Monday night we hiked through Clinton Hill to Castro's over on Myrtle. We did this for two reasons, one Seattle Mom wanted to see more of the neighborhood, (for more on their apartment search, see here). Second, G-pup is constantly on the search for a delicious burrito.
I had read some good comments regarding Castro's over on the chowhound outer borrough's board. Given that they have a liqour license (beer, wine, margaritas and pina coladas) and we always enjoy a nice mexican meal, we were up for it.
Seattle mom and I had margaritas (they were okay, nothing really good or bad about them) and some quite delicious chips and salsa. Both the chips and the salsa tasted fresh, the salsa was a pleasant mix of sweet and piquant. While waiting for G-pup to make the - in his words - long trek over, we tried to order some guacomole and chips, only to find out that, and this is odd for a mexican restaurant, they were out of guacomole. Heck there's a supermarket and produce stand just down the street - can't you go get some avocados? We opted instead for the nachos. Which, with their refried beans, generous cheesiness and chopped jalepenos boded well for the meal to come.
When G-pup got there we ordered a couple of veggie burritos for ourselves, and Seattle mom opted for enchiladas. She tried to find out if it was shredded beef inside, but there was a bit of a language barrier. She ended up just going for cheese with green salsa.
Let me put forward the fact that G-pup and I spent 5 years in San Francisco and are very very spoiled about our burritos. We are also used to really really large burritos. That said the burritos at Castros were HUGE. They looked like sack cloths of rice and beans lumped on the plate. Not tightly wrapped or served mojado (wet style, with salsa on top) they were a formidable mass of food. They contained the curious vegetable frozen mix that one finds in some 'veggie' mexican dishes. You know the mix that you hated as a kid? Lima beans, carrots, green beans... These contained that mix with mexican rice, beans, salsa, sour cream (no guacomole tonight) and lettuce on the side. I think they suffered from the lack of guac, they seemed too dry for their size. Next time (yeh its good enough to go back) I would go with the enchiladas.
The cheese enchiladas came with large chunks of unmelted chese inside (Seattle mom thought they were chicken at first), were smothered in sauce and more cheese and a generous serving of rice and beans. Seattle mom seemed to like it :)
So, it's not a replacement for Pancho Villa or La Corneta from SF, but it would certainly satisfy an ex-Texans craving for yummy tex-mex.
Update: Thought I should probably add some information regarding the 'atmosphere.' Having spent college years going to a taco shack, I quite liked this place. You walk into the front which looks like most take away mex places, hot bar with all the stuff to make burrtios et al. Even the requisite pile of pre-made chile rellenos :) The back dining area is pretty stark, but the real gem is the big patio out back (it was too cold that night for it, but summer should be great!).
511 Myrtle Avenue between Ryerson & Grand
Hours: Sun-Fri 6:30 am - 11 pm
Sat 8 am - 12 am
Other reviews: Citysearch, AOL, GO Brooklyn, eating for brooklyn, AddYourOwn
(sorry for the lousy pics - they are from the phone - but the red sure looks festive!)