High 5 de Mayo

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Dane Cook and compadres are the first people we know of to actually eat eat a meal at 5 de Mayo, the five-month-old Mexican restaurant best known for being in between V&T and P&W. Our new Sam Sifton reports from Amsterdam Avenue.

With the ever-popular Taqueria y Fonda merely three blocks away, it’s easy to see why the more recently installed 5 de Mayo has a hard time drawing a crowd. Such was the case Wednesday evening, when Bwog gathered a few friends at the empty Mexican restaurant that replaced Bengal Café in September 2009.

We achieved a broad survey of the extensive menu—appraising their staple dishes as well as sampling a few more intriguing items. The complimentary chips and salsa were comparable to most other Mexican restaurants. Tip: ask for a side of the spicier avocado salsa as well (also complimentary). The shrimp burrito was massive and certainly outshined any Chipotle offering. The dacos dorados, on the other hand were fairly dry, uninspiring, and left plenty of room for more—shortcomings that an underwhelming dollop of bland guacamole failed to remedy. To combat residual hunger, Bwog ventured a bit further off the beaten path with a lengua (beef tongue) taco, which proved a pleasant surprise: tender and flavorful, complimented by spicy green chili salsa, and garnished with lime.

Photos by Vitaly Druker

Among our party, the meal for the best value went to the carne enchiladas torta (a style of Mexican sandwich) that was sizably portioned for just under seven dollars. For the most part, we avoided items listed as “entrees” due to high prices and a tight budget. However, fellow diner and Mexican cuisine connoisseur Eric Mendoza, CC ’12, couldn’t resist the enchiladas con mole. Although he found the dish satisfactory, he later conceded, “It wasn’t as good as my mom makes.”

Throughout dinner the restaurant remained deserted, and classic Spanish music playing from a radio near the kitchen weighed drearily over the empty room. The walls are mostly bare; only a few tourism posters and Christmas lights attempted a cheap stab at ambiance. Still anticipating its liquor license, 5 de Mayo remains B.Y.O.B. for the time being. Perhaps a stiff margarita would help liven the place up a bit, but until then, Blockheads will have to suffice.


  1. ...  

    i went there a few weeks after they opened and it was absolutely horrible. like srsly, the ajanta of mexican food...

  2. Dreadful

    See the damning reviews of this shithole on Yelp.com.

  3. Kanye West

    Yo 5 de Mayo, I'm happy for you and Ima let you finished, but Taqueria has the best burriotos of ALL TIME

  4. ahhhh  

    poor bengal cafe! may their special always be fish curry in restaurant afterlife!

    • no no  

      seriously, screw bengal cafe. the food was terrible, and once they took all of my money and refused to give change, even though i requested it. i decide the tip, not them. it still makes me mad to think about it!

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