El Camion and the Tale of Two Pina’s

So I had no residual effects from an eight day drinking and eating binge in Mexico except for one thing. A serious addiction to Pina Colada’s. I had actually joked about this while we were there. It was common practice to get up, have some breakfast and then be drinking a frozen cocktail by 10:00 AM. Hey we were all on vacation! So Saturday morning I wake up and I have this insane craving for a Pina Colada. I mean seriously insane- it’s all I can think about. I do some chores around the house, go to the Duane Reade for some supplies, but it’s still there, nagging and taunting me to get a drink. Finally Mr. T says- why don’t you just go get one? So go I did.

Now it’s still winter so most places aren’t exactly whipping up frozen cocktails left and right so I head to the one place that always has vacation type drinks- the South Street Seaport. I travel all the way downtown and end up at the Latin restaurant Cabana. It was about 2:00 pm at this point and while the restaurant was somewhat full the bar was completely empty. Undeterred I sit down and order up my drink.

I had high hopes for this cocktail for sure. It looked pretty enough so I went in for a sip and got nothing. I tried again and still nothing. I thought my straw was broken so I got another one but that still didn’t work. Then I realized the ice chunks were a little too thick so I tried to break them down more so I could get a decent drink. I crushed, sipped, crushed, sipped and had moments where I was chugging on the straw with such force my cheeks felt a little flushed. Then I realized that I must be the most ridiculous person in the whole world. First of all who goes to bar alone and orders a Pina Colada. That’s just weird. Then to be so forcefully trying to drink it- it was all just crazy! I felt like the girl drink drunk from the Kids in the Hall. I had a sip directly from the glass but it just wasn’t the same. I needed a real Pina Colada and so I left with almost the full drink sitting on the bar.

I walked from the Seaport up to the LES and went shopping at Essex Street Market and did some other little errands and returned home where Mr. T was waiting for us to decide on dinner. Since I still hadn’t gotten my Pina Colada fix I suggested the new Mexican joint El Camion. So we hopped in a cab and within minutes we were seated at one of the cute wooden tables waiting for our drinks.

My Pina Colada came out and I was happy to see some toasted coconut on top. That’s always a nice addition. Unfortunately the drink was way too frozen for me. It was had to get a true sip once again and when I did it was an instant headache. I decided to wait a little bit until it had warmed up some.

For dinner I ordered the Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with a side of Cojita Cheese. The tacos came out three to an order and I though they were pretty sizeable. I was a little dismayed to see they had put the cheese directly on top of the taco since I had only wanted a little bit but the rest of the fillings were pretty good. Shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and avocado creama were all fresh and tasty but the chipotle sauce was a little watery.

Mr. T order the Cheese Quesadilla plain. Plain meaning nothing except cheese and tortilla. I thought it was really tasty but come on- how good can a plain cheese sandwich be?

In the end my Pina Colada did warm up and while I was able to finish this one it was just okay. Nothing like the delicious, fantasy cocktail I had dreamed up in my head. However El Camion was a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition to the neighborhood. They definitely need to tighten up the service a bit (I had to flag down the server to order and get the check both) but otherwise it’s a tasty and affordable spot to chill.