The Other Critics

Sietsema Stands by El Cantinero, Disses Yelpers

The great Robert Sietsema responds to our bafflement over his El Cantinero review by heaping still more praise on its food, like so many sautéed onions: “If you’re looking for a dish that stacks up against any in town at a comparable price, pick the steak fajitas.” He continues: “I’m really not surprised Yelpers revile it. They take no pleasure from a dish’s history, they hate food that’s not faddish, they go off like a cocked pistol with a hair trigger on anyone and anything.” Eh, not quite. We love steak fajitas as much as the next guy, and we agree it’s hard to go wrong with them (unless you order them from a Chinese-Mexican takeout place — that never works out). Here’s the thing:

We just don’t really agree that they’re an endangered dish; MenuPages’ Find-a-Food turns up 289 results, which doesn’t exactly make them Wiener schnitzel à la Holstein. And if we’re going to single out a “splendid” version, it would probably be the one at, say, Móle — though, yes, the ones at El Cantinero are cheaper, and that outdoor deck is a huge plus. Hmmm, maybe we’ll take Sietsema up on his challenge and hit up all-you-can-eat Monday! Except this comment on his post is rather discouraging: “These were some of the worst nachos I’ve ever had. The chips were covered in grease and soggy and the chorizo was rubber-esque.” And that’s from Lee Frank at Nachos NY, not some joyless Yelper.

Dear Grub Street: I May Be Loco, but the Food Rocks at El Cantinero [Fork in the Road/VV]

Sietsema Stands by El Cantinero, Disses Yelpers