Brunch at Empellón Cocina with Imbibe

Really cool bar
Olmeca Altos Blanco Tequila with the bottles of Bloody Maria mixes
The cool bar at Empellón Cocina; Olmeca Altos Blanco Tequila with Bloody Mary mixes

This past weekend, I attended one of Manhattan Cocktail Classic‘s events, brunch at Empellón Cocina, hosted by Imbibe magazine and Olmeca Altos Tequila. This brunch event is fun as you meet fellow imbibers who are willing to have tequila mixed cocktails at 11 AM and of course, have incredible food since Empellón is an excellent restaurant for the new wave of Mexican cuisine.

Siesta with Empellón Cocina's menu for this event
Pistachio guacamole served with Masa chips (background) and Siesta cocktail

We started out with the Siesta cocktail, a mix of Olmeca Altos Blanco tequila, fresh grapefruit, and Campari. This bright, pleasantly acidic and refreshing drink. Bowls of pistachio guacamole served with house made masa chips arrived on our tables to share with the group. The guacamole was delicious. I would have not think of having buttery pistachios mixed with the creamy avocados but it was an excellent idea.

Queso fundido with black trumpet mushrooms and pepitas (served with fresh tortillas on the side)
Fresh tortillas served with Queso fundido with black trumpet mushrooms and pepitas

The queso fundido with black trumpet mushrooms and pepitas were excellent, especially served with their fresh, warm house made tortillas. The gooey melted cheese worked wonders with the delicious, delicate sautéed mushrooms and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Chilaquiles Rojo, slow poached egg with black beans served with fresh tortillas

Bowls of chilaquiles rojo, slow poached egg with black beans were served with fresh tortillas were up next and it was very tasty. Flavorful red salsa mixed with fried corn tortilla bits, ground beef, and black beans were great but once the slightly soft egg was mixed in, it added a layer of creaminess and definitely made it a substantial dish. And we are only halfway through the brunch.

Carnitas Hash

Carnitas hash landed on our table and it was a good side dish. Chunks of potatoes and cubes of cooked pork were nicely cooked up and topped with scrambled eggs.

Breakfast Margarita
Fried Maine smelt, jalapeño relish, lime mayonnaise

One of my favorite drinks of the day was the Breakfast Margarita, made of Olmeca Alto Reposado, Giffard Pamplemousse, and fresh grapefruit juice. This is the kind of drink I would love to have at every brunch. Refreshing and a touch sweet and a nuanced background of the tequila. Then out came the tacos. We had fried Maine smelt, jalapeño relish, and lime mayonnaise that were fantastic. It’s one of the few fish tacos I really enjoyed in a long time. The fish wasn’t fishy or greasy and the condiments on the taco was perfect with the touch of spice, creaminess and brightness.

Shortrib pastrami, pickled cabbage, mustard seed salsa tacos
Shortrib pastrami, pickled cabbage, mustard seed salsa taco

My favorite taco of the day was the shortrib pastrami, pickled cabbage, and mustard seed salsa. It’s an ode to the Jewish delicatessen and while it sounds gimmicky, it was very tasty and I adored this taco. If I had more stomach space, I would have had a few more than just one.

The entire lineup of drinks: Olmeca Alto Reposado shot, Breakfast Margarita, Siesta, and Bloody MariaChurros French toast with coffee ice cream

To end this meal on a sweet note, we were presented with a platter of churros French toast with coffee ice cream. The churros French toast was very cinnamon-y and I adored the creamy, flavorful ice cream. It does work very well with the Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila shot.

In spite of my lack of cocktail photos of the meal, the one adjacent to the churros French toast, that’s the entire line up of drinks we had for brunch.

To view more photos of this meal, please CLICK HERE or view the gallery below:

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Empellón Cocina

105 1st Avenue
(between E 6th & 7th Street)
New York, NY
Telephone: (212) 780-0999


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.