El Azteca is a Dominican-run Mexican restaurant that is one step above franchise. A constant rotation of bachata (and maybe a few rancheras), and a brusk staff (can I take my hand out of the bowl of nachos before you take it away?) greet a lively crowd that includes former frat-boys, large families, and yuppies.
As for atmosphere, let’s just say a string of chili lights hangs over the bar and mirrors line the walls — need I say more? The frozen
margaritas are pre-made and can be seen swirling in machines behind the bar. The food, typical franchise fare of fajitas, burritos, enchiladas and such, comes slathered in bland sauces (their mole, while not bland, tastes like it was made with Hershey’s syrup). Don’t touch the deserts, either — the “fried” ice cream came in a flabby tortilla bowl, covered in stale coconut and the center was freezer burned and had ice chunks.
Your best bet? Grab yourself a Negra Modelo at the bar and satisfy your Mexican food cravings elsewhere.
El Azteca is located at 783 Ninth Ave at 52nd Street