By: Amanda-Kathryn (aka RamblesofRed)
World Cup has us all on the edge of our seats! If you’re like me, you need not only an awesome drink, but munchies to help ease the tension of the game in front of you. So, what is a girl to do? First off, let’s identify the craving, which for me, was guacamole and tacos. Now as tempting as Taco Bell sounded (not so much), I decided to pick up dad and visit my friends down at Cuatro Amigos…and a Bottle of Tequila in Secaucus, NJ to quench my food demons and make my stomach happy.
Relatively new to the scene, the restaurant is the 3-month-old baby of owners Liam, Vincent, Tommy, and Robb, allowing it to appropriately earn the title of Cuatro Amigos. The commute to the place wasn’t bad at all, but I highly suggest leaving before peak traffic hours to avoid any stalls on Route 3. Once turning into Secaucus, you’ll immediately be greeted by the old-fashioned building on the side of the road. It was very easy to find and quite an appealing view to be welcomed with. I must admit, I felt like a queen when I found there were valets on duty
to assist in my parking. This allowed me a smooth and easy transition from car to restaurant entrance before beginning my culinary journey.
Upon entering, the atmosphere almost took my breath away. With a cantina like feel, I was blown away at how realistic everything looked. It comes complete with a dimly lit welcoming vibe perfect for first dates, gatherings, etc. The walls had small potted plants and the ceiling…oh the ceiling…it was a romantic display of stars which blink every so often on a soft night sky. It will make you fall in love at first sight, I guarantee it. There is more than enough seating in both the dining and bar area, and you will be overwhelmed by the space available. The bar comes complete with 2 big screens, and a fully stocked liquor selection (perfect if you tend to be the indecisive drinker like myself) but let’s get to the good stuff…
When I sat down, I was greeted with the bright smile of my server Jina. She started me off with some corn tortilla chips and veered me to try one of the house special margaritas: The Hibiscus Margarita. Now I’m going to let you all in on a little secret about myself: in the all the times I traveled to bars with friends or even as a reviewer, I’ve never tried a margarita (gasp!). So, this was going to be a first for me. Infused with hibiscus tequila, agave and fresh lime juice, my first sip of this cocktail didn’t disappoint. It was quite subtly sweet and refreshing,
and with a choice of either sugar or salt on the rim, this margarita’s flavors will envelop your taste buds and compliment any appetizer or meal you choose.
As a starter, I was given the Swordfish Ceviche. The appearance of the dish itself was almost so perfect I didn’t wish to tarnish it, but alas the taste even proved to beat out its visual presentation. A hint of citrus, combined with avocado, tomato and sprouts, this appetizer was an awesome way to begin, and a must try on your visit. Round two of my appetizer journey consisted of my long-awaited love in life…Guacamole and Chips. Garnished with a radish and cucumber, this guac was so creamy and chunky I wish I could have taken a pound of this home with me that is how good it was. Dad decided to try the Mini Tostadas, complete with pulled chicken, chorizo and beans. Again, the dish was superb visually, but the combination of not too spicy flavors from the meats and sour cream, plus the crunchy taco and lettuce will make you melt with delight. The dish was very well balanced and another two thumbs up way to start.
At this point Dad and I were getting full, but we still had our final courses to go. I decided to try the Black Bean Tacos for my dinner, while dad and his carnivorous ways ordered the Chile Marinated Skirt Steak (Carne Asada a La Plancha). Arriving as a plate of three, my soft tacos were well stuffed with both beans, sweet potatoes, and topped with peanut salsa, tomatoes and chives. It had the perfect combination of spicy and sweet, making it a good choice for vegetarian patrons looking for a savory meal. Dad’s Skirt Steak came with a side Caesar salad, rice, spiced bell peppers, rice and beans (wow!). This meal was so hearty, and the skirt steak wasn’t drenched in sauce. In my
opinion this made it perfect, and the sauce was sweet and tangy allowing it to pair very well with the peppers and rice
without overpowering them.
As the evening ended, our stomachs were pretty much nearing their final stages. I decided to have dad try one of my favorite dishes for dessert: Flan. Now if you have never tried Flan before, you must add it to your food bucket list, and when you do, go to Cuatro Amigos for theirs. I’ve tried many variations of this dessert before, but Cuatro Amigos is the best one, no doubt in my mind. The dish wasn’t too sweet, despite the caramel drizzle and baked coconut shavings; it paired well with both the lime leaf, strawberries, and kiwis it was garnished with. Don’t
forget to order a nice espresso to go with this dessert, it is a superb ending to an extremely decadent evening out.
Cuatro Amigos and a Bottle of Tequila is a gem for the Secaucus area. It hopes to bring rooftop access in the nearby future and expand its nightlife for all clientele to enjoy. With awesome customer service, food, drinks, and events such as live music on the weekends, the sky is the limit for this up-and-coming venue. Cheers and thank you for the awesome time, Cuatro Amigos! I will be returning, until then cheers to you all and happy dining!