alma; photo -- Youngna ParkTucked away in Cobble Hill, west of the BQE, Alma's skyline views of Manhattan, reputably delicious margaritas, and lantern-lit rooftop ought to draw you in even before you’ve tasted the food. Add the Dine-in-Brooklyn bargain offering a 3-course-meal for $19.55, and Gothamist couldn’t help but drag a crew to the Mexican-inspired locale for our fill of tamales, enchiladas, and homemade chips and salsa, brought in baskets and served with salsa verde and a spicy pico de gallo.

alma; photo -- Youngna ParkGothamist and all four of our dining companions opted for the 3 course prix fixe menu. Two diners started with the tamales, two with the ensalada verde, and one with the flautas since disappointingly, Alma ran out of the ceviche -- shrimp, scallops, and snapper cured in lime juice with avocado and tomato -- originally Gothamist’s first appetizer choice. The tamales, masa (ground corn) filled with a mole marinated stuffing, was steamed in a corn husk and served with a side of vegetables pickled vegetables. The flautas -- striking the taste buds as souped up McDonald’s chicken mcnuggets -- were corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken, deep fried and served with an avocado salsa.

alma; photo -- Youngna ParkThe entrée course also offered three selections: steak or chicken fajitas, tuna amarillo, and chicken or cheese enchiladas. One dining companion, usually reluctant to eat Mexican food, ordered the steak fajitas, requesting them without the side of refried beans. Forgetting the request, the waitress delivered the plate heaping with steak, avocado salsa, cojito cheese, pico de gallo and the unwanted beans, as well as a wicker basket with several corn tortillas. The steak was juicy and tender, but the diner’s distaste for beans gave the overall dish only a moderate rating.

Three dining companions opted for variations of the enchiladas, filled with a healthy dose of grilled chicken or cheese and topped with either a pumpkin seed sauce, spicy New Mexico coloradito, or a traditional mole sauce. The waitress highly recommended - insisted, even – that we try the chicken enchiladas over the cheese and of those, Gothamist liked the slightly sweet, but nutty and rich pumpkin seed sauce the best as flavor source.

The filet of tuna amarillo, rolled in spices, pan roasted, and served with escabeche, was tasty, but un-spectacular, less rich and almost sparse-looking besides the plates of enchiladas and fajitas. Gothamist decided that if you’re going to eat Mexican, you might as well eat cheese, tortillas, rice, and beans, and faulted in ordering the seafood dish – either a last ditch effort to be healthier or maybe just to try something different.

With our stomachs about to burst, we ordered dessert; four out of five inhaled the irresistible key lime pie from Steve’s Authentic while the odd-man-out tried the ancho chile chocolate cake, a flourless, dense cake with hints of pepper and a side of chocolate ice cream. Though both desserts were the highlight of the meal, Gothamist wishes we’d also ordered the traditional flan, a restaurant specialty.
In 75-degree weather with good company and a beautiful few of the NYC skyline, good food is made great, especially for a good price. Gothamist recommends a trip to Alma and the joint downstairs, B61, for atmosphere and a more-than filling dinner.

Alma, 187 Columbia Street, corner of Degraw St., Cobble Hill West, Brooklyn, 718-643-5400.