Hecho en Dumbo: Mexican food on Bowery
Hecho en Dumbo, the Brooklyn transplant specializing in contemporary, Mexico City-style food, opened earlier this month here on Bowery, joining Faustina, DBGB and Pulino's on a stretch that is rapidly becoming Manhattan's hottest restaurant row. We joined the crowds twice last week to see if this one-time outer-borough favorite could hold on to its down-to-earth goodness here in the big town. The good news: Hecho en Dumbo has retained most of its funky general-store charm, even as it has greatly expanded, to this good-looking, 65-seat, back-room kitchen-bar, front-room booze-bar, space. The better news: the food, for the most part, is high-quality, fresh-ingredient stuff; lively, fun and satisfying.
We sampled a few dishes from all over Hecho en Dumbo's menu–much of which is designed for snacking and sharing–and were rewarded with a good percentage of winners. If you're like us, and enjoy digging into a big bowl of cheese every now and then, an excellent place to start your meal at Hencho en Dumbo is with Queso Fundido, a combination of house-made oaxaca and asadero cheeses, melted over (in our case), mounds of wonderfully earthly huitlacoche mushrooms, and served with soft flour tortillas and a trio of the excellent homemade salsas.
Also very tasty at Hencho en Dumbo are the Burritas. We tried the "de Res" variety–wine-braised steak, lime, and carmelized onions–which arrived looking disappointingly one-note, but proved to have an impressive depth and complexity to its flavor… especially when slathered with the smokiest of the salsas. The least interesting (but still pretty good) of the tortilla-based dishes we tried were the Tostadas de Ceviche, the citrusy halibut piled atop roasted squash and a smear of guacamole. This was fine, if a bit unbalanced, the acid of the ceviche dominating the proceedings.
In the less shareable category at Hecho en Dumbo on Bowery, the bowl of Pozole Rojo–a spicy, rich and meaty soup made with fat hominy and big chunks of pork–recalled in the best way many a late-night feeding on upper Amsterdam Avenue. As is traditional, the accoutrements for the dish are self-service, so be careful to only put a pinch of that red chili powder in your bowl, or it's all you'll taste. Ironically, the least interesting-tasting item we had at Hencho en Dumbo seemed to be among the more exotic offerings, a plate of sliced Waygu Beef Tongue in a caper and chili poblano sauce, on top of steamed swiss chard sauce, all of which needed far too much salsa to make it worth our while.
Hecho en Dumbo on Bowery Details:
Hecho en Dumbo on Bowery is located between Great Jones and East Fourth Streets, and is open every day for brunch between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and for dinner from 5:30 p.m. until midnight on Mondays through Thursdays, until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 11:00 p.m. on Sundays. For a complete menu, please see the Hecho en Dumbo website.