I have quite the prejudice when it comes to restaurants on the Riverwalk; I have had a bad taste in my mouth from several in the past where I get overprice food that doesn’t have flavor and some expensive drinks. A big group of friends and I had rented a riverboat to go tailgating before the Texas Tech v. Michigan State football game for the Alamo Bowl, and before we got on the boat a few of us decided to eat at Mexican Manhattan.
Located further up the river, many tourists would miss seeing it because it really isn’t near anything. This is most certainly changing as the Riverwalk continues to expand and remodel. We got a nice seat outside that overlooked the river. A couple of my friends were pretty hungry so they decided to order some tamales as appetizers. Our waiter said that they were really good and that the ladies make them fresh everyday (part of it is done by hand, other by machine). He did warn us that the portions here were rather large, and asked us to reconsider ordering the appetizer if we weren’t really hungry. We decided to go for it anyway.
The tamales were delicious; the masa was thick on the outside and the inside was chocked full of meet. They were not very greasy, and had just a good flavor. I would highly recommend them (even as a complete meal) as they are only $3.75 for a half dozen.
I ended up going for the namesake, Manhattan Dinner, that included guacamole salad, two cheese enchiladas, beans, and rice covered in carne guisada. The plate came out and it was ENORMOUS! The guacamole salad was not a lame-o little scoop but a giant sized portion worthy of being an appetizer at most other restaurants. While the enchiladas aren’t the best I have ever had, the carne guisada covering the rice was absolutely amazing.
Next time I return to the restaurant, I think I am going to invent my own plate and ask for the half dozen tamales covered with the carne guisada. That right there will be a meal fit for a king and I bet I can get it for under $5. Mexican Manhattan is just a myth buster; they prove that not only is it possible to have good tasting food on the river, but you can also get it pretty cheap.
Value: 10/10 ($10 for a HUGE meal on the Riverwalk plus a beer for like $3.50? You can’t beat it.)
Atmosphere: 9.0/10 (Don’t judge a book by the cover here. The sign and the street level entrance looks kind of shady, but you enter into an old diner type atmosphere on the inside. The riverside tables are nice, but as of now there is not a whole lot to look at because you are off the beaten path part of the river.)
Service: 9.5/10 (Great service and our waiter offered excellent suggestions and was very friendly.)
Taste: 9/10 (Solid tasting food, especially for the Riverwalk.)
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