BY Carolina Pichardo

Recently, I had the pleasure of eating at 181 Cabrini Restaurant, which is located exactly where it says it is.

Of course, I went there with the intention of observing and examining the vibe. But I left with something else.

First, it was the first time (in a long-long time) that I’ve gone out to eat without my daughter, Lulu. Now don’t get me wrong. I love eating out with my little girl, but sometimes it becomes more about how she’s doing, if the bathroom is close enough, sitting by a window, etc. In between all of that, plus figuring out what to alternate for chicken fingers and french fries, forget about it. It becomes a mission of how to get out of there as soon as possible.

This time, it was about me.

I went with a good friend of mine, and we were both stressed (as mothers often tend to be).

When we first entered the spot, it had a couple of things going on. Although the bar towards the front gave it a bar-y feeling, the dimmed lights and spaced seating arrangements towards the back made it comfortable. It isn’t such a big space, but it works.

Our waitress arrived quickly after we were seated with several menus in tow. I expected to find the usual appetizers and a pasta or seafood dish thrown in the mix. However, what I found in the stack of menus was one that read “Grand Prix” with a selection of international foods: U.S., Chinese, French, Cuban, Mexican, etc. There were cuban sandwiches, hamburgers, burritos, and beers.

We decided on the Mexican, since it had a delicious margarita to match—and I couldn’t ask for anything more on that Wednesday night. It was my light at the end of the tunnel.

Along came our drinks, then the chips and salsa, and finally the shrimp quesadilla. It was quick, it was delicious. It was in the middle of the week, and just a couple of steps away from the train.

Check out their site: 181cabrini.com/

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