Cafe Henri / Casa Enrique Review: Each Corner A Culinary Canine

For those who have not yet been to Long Island City, or perhaps preferably, LIC, I want you to remember firmly that this is a location only one stop away from Manhattan. It is barely Queens, and certainly not part of Long Island in the borough sense. Friends, put aside your fear of the 7 and venture to Vernon Jackson Avenue.

Henri the French dog.

Henri the French dog.

Enrique the Hispanic dog.

Enrique the Hispanic dog.

One pair of gems you’ll find is the multicultural Henrys. There is the French and Spanish, one pup found with a cup of Joe, the other with a most impressive sombrero. With an almost insuppressible wariness of branch locations, especially ones with such different agendas, I was hard pressed to believe that one, and more bewildering still, that both would be above par. And yet – finding myself at Case Enrique, some weeks after Cafe Henri, I was acrobatically eating my lengua taco, keeping each bit of beef tongue in place.

I had dinner first at Cafe Henri, where a curried steam pot of mussels ended speedily and with shells a mountain. The curry flavor permeated, and compared with the mariniere rendition, offered just a bit more oomph. It was a simple affair last time, but I will soon return for brunch, beckoned by images of hollandaised eggs.

Many types of mussels.

Many types of mussels.

Savory crepes

Savory crepes

Casa Enrique we ventured to on a much hungrier occasion. We began with the lengua taco, paired with a strong caipirinha, which was purportedly mango flavored. There was truthfully little I could taste beyond the lime and liquor. No matter, the beef tongue was more than enough to tide me happily over to the entrees.

Tacos!

Tacos!

First came the most impressive lamb shank, laid majestically in chili pulla (dried chilli) sauce, and amongst a combination of rice and beans. Some slivers of meat were tender with fatty morsels, others were leaner with chewy integrity. It was sufficiently fiery, with the rice and beans subsumed with most of the heat. Every bite a painful delight of flavor.

enrique2We also had at the table the Mole De Piaxtla, a popular dish from puebla, Mexico. The mole is made from mix dry peppers, almonds, raisins, plantain, sesame seeds and chocolate – a rich sweetness that elevates any old chicken dish, which in this case was moistly prepared and good even the second time around.

In neither place did I get dessert, in hopes that my spin classes finally do something for my reunion at the end of the month. After that maybe, I will come back for some weaker drinks but heavier desserts. In the meantime, there is always brunch to look forward to.

Chow on,
Jessie

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
What does this rating mean?

Café Henri
1010 50th Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 383-9315

Casa Enrique
548 49th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
(347) 448-6040

Café Henri on Urbanspoon

Casa Enrique on Urbanspoon

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iOS App Producer of Motor Recall, Co-Founder at Pay4Bugs, SEO consultant, and aspiring coffee roaster.

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