169 Church Street
Both times Prince Charming and I dined at El Gato it was busy and felt alive. It also happens that both times we were seated by the kitchen door with a direct view of the dish washing station. Our first visit was on the week they opened and the restaurant was packed. Once seated, we looked over the menu and it all sounded so good! We placed our order and it arrived in no time. Our menu choices were fresh Elotes Callejeros (grilled corn on the cob smothered with mayo, chili powder, Mexican cheese, and a lime wedge), guacamole and chips, shrimp/carnitas/barbacoa tacos with a side of whole beans and rice. The guacamole was well made with onion and bright lime except it lacked salt, so none of the flavors came together like they should and the result was flat. Actually, most of the food lacked that perfect balance of seasoning which I kindly mentioned to the manager when she came over and asked how our dinner was. I must say the tortillas that held my taco fillings were both hot and fresh along with the basket of chips that come to us just after we sat down. On both visits we found the service just above average. It was very friendly just lacking that level of excellence. Our second visit was on a Sunday night and we ordered the Elotes Callejeros again, Chile Rellano, chicken mole tacos, and tacos de carnitas with sides of rice and whole beans. On this visit it seems they worked out the lack of seasoning because all of our food was seasoned perfectly and tasted balenced. It was Prince Charming’s first Chile Rellano and he loved and devoured them. They were smothered in a house made red sauce that beamed flavor. El Gato is on its way to success. They may not be extremely authentic but well executed. My prediction for El Gato is that they will be very successful especially with the expansion of church street. They are here to stay, just don’t sit by the kitchen door.