Posts tagged latino

El Emperador Elias Restaurant

I went to pick up a package from the Williamsburg post office and got lured into this this Dominican/Latino restaurant with the $3.95 lunch special sign with free soda. The lunch special food looked decent from the steam trays. But instead, I sat down to get a proper meal. The food was a lot more expensive on the dine-in menu, but that was okay. I really got into watching Andrew W.K. videos on my phone while on tour …and Andrew W.K. says spend your money.

I got the Mofongo with Fried Beef (Dominican Style) $11.95. It came with Chicken Soup. That was good. It had butternut squash in it. The Mofongo and Fried Beef took a long time to get to me. All the while, I saw a ton of people come and go for the lunch special take-out.

Monfongo was alright. Best use of the sauce on the side for the dried mashed plantains and chewy chunks of beef. Maybe should have gone with the lunch special, but there’s no turning back. I would’ve stood there for thirty minutes trying to decide what to eat like I normally do. Sometimes you just gotta go for it.

El Emperador Elias Restaurant – 274 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211


Tio Wally Eats America: Pupuseria Salvadoreña

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is at Pupuseria Salvadoreña in Rogers, Arkansas.

Greetings from Rogers, Arkansas
N 36° 19.048’  W 094° 07.695’  Elev. 1355 ft.

I love pupusas. But what are they? Well, best I can figure they’re a cross between a tortilla and a hoe cake that I guess only Salvadorans make. Often they’re plain and served in place of a regulation tortilla. But they also stuff them with all kinds of things, like cheese, beans, meat, what have you. (The complete list is on the left side of the menu.)

I found Pupuseria Salvadoreña when I was picking-up at Tyson’s, the evil corporate chicken pluckers and packers; it’s located a half-block from the plant. Still it took a while to find because the storefront is so unassuming.

They have two locations in Rogers. While I suspect it’s actually easier to park (in the Merchant of Death parking lot) at the #1, I like to go to this one. It’s important to be a repeat customer and, at this one, I can hide out in my trick parking spot and take a nap if I want.

I like to get the Chile Relleno ($7.70) stuffed with meat. I still haven’t determined exactly what kind of meat it is but it’s definitely some cut of beef, and stewed to tender perfection. It’s served with rice, refried beans and two or three pupusas, depending on how they’re feeling(?).

Usually the refried beans are just too salty for my taste. So today I asked for frijoles de la olla (literally, beans of the pot). That’s the whole beans before they smash them up. (Most Mexican restaurants have these if you ask.) Unfortunately, they didn’t have any.

Today, however, the beans weren’t salty at all — the sauce on the relleno was! Still, it was really good, plus I hadn’t had one in awhile.

Whenever I go here I also order Bistec de Rez ($7.70) para llevar (to go). It travels well and is actually really good cold. Unfortunately, I ate it all before I took a picture. Next time.

Bistec de Rez is found in virtually all latino restaurants under various names, such as Bistec a la Mexicana, Bistec Ranchero, etc. It’s usually grilled flank steak (I think), with onion, tomato and bell pepper in a ranchero sauce. Theirs is really good although I’ve failed every time to get them to make it picante (spicy) enough. Still, it’s really good.

Along with the meal I got a giant Aguas Frescas (literally, fresh waters). Although they start with a mix, they add a bunch of crushed fruit to it. Today they had what she called Piña y Mango (pineapple and mango) but here they actually make it with apple in it as well. It’s got all kinds of really good pulp in it and takes a bit of sucking skill to get it up the straw.

They didn’t have one of my favorite aguas frescas that they make there sometimes: Melon (cantaloupe). They don’t make my all-time favorite aguas frescas here: Sandia (watermelon) and Piña y Pepino (pineapple and cucumber). I know pineapple and cucumber seems an unlikely if not bizarre pairing, but it’s incredibly delicious. It’s so weird: You can actually taste both the pineapple and the cucumber. Very strange but very refreshing. If you ever get a chance to try it, do so.

I really like the food and the folks here. They tolerate me and my incredibly bad Spanish, which I appreciate. And today there was actually another white guy in there, the first I’d ever seen in there.

(By the way: Jason once visited a Spanish restaurant and wrote that he and his compañero “were the only white guys in there.” Well, I don’t know if his parents or his sister never told him, or the fact that his folks owned a Chinese restaurant never tipped him off, but Jason is definitely not a … oh, never mind. Don’t tell him. It’s probably too late anyway, him being a Gator and all.)

And so we roll.

Pupuseria Salvadoreña, 1612 S. 8th St., Rogers, AR  479.636.1214

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.


El Guayaquileño Ecuadorian Food Truck

I like the look of this Ecuadorian food truck parked in Midtown. I tried to order the Fish Bollo (fish tamale), but it was sold out. Then I ordered the Combination Platter. The guy was about to make it, but turned back to ask me something. I couldn’t figure out what he was saying. I thought it had to do with what type of rice I wanted. He got some guy standing next to me to translate. Turns out he wanted to make sure I knew that the Combination Platter cost $15. That’s too rich for my blood for lunch from a truck.

I then asked about the Goat Stew …but it was $12. I couldn’t decide, so I told the guy who helped translate that he could go ahead and order. But he said it was alright. He was like “this place is too expensive.” Then I went with the hen stew ($8) and headed back to work. Turns out the that translator guy actually worked for the truck. I don’t know what I got. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t hen.

El Guayaquileño food truck – Northwest corner of 37th St at 6th Ave. New York, NY 10018

Oxtail and Roast Pork at El Castillo De Jagua

Anthony and I were out for a Boyz Night Out. Only thing was that we couldn’t remember what we were supposed to do. Wondered around the lower east side and after two beers, gave in for food at El Castillo De Jagua (see Mofongo and Sancocho soup).

Ordered the roast pork and oxtail stew. Bread was loaded with slaps of butter. The heavy food really got to us. We had one more beer and watched Dave play at Cakeshop. In bed by 11. Boyz Night out in NYC …some wild shit.

El Castillo De Jagua – 113 Rivington St (@ Essex St) New York 10002

Barzola’s Seafood Soup!

Rusty and I had lunch at this sorta hidden Ecuadorian restaurant on a residential street in East Williamsburg/Bushwick. Lot’s of mirrors on the walls and big flat screens with hot Latino chicks dancing on the beach, ala MTV’s The Grind with Eric Nies.

I got the large Seafood Soup ($12). Amazing beautiful orange broth with squid, clams, mussels, half a crab, shrimp and big fish chunks that are almost like chicken. I can’t really say the meat in there is too great, especially the crab. It’s probably because it’s been over-cooking in the soup for so long …but that probably helped create that awesome broth. It was still a big bowl of deliciousness. I felt so good afterward.

Rusty got a big giant burger. He liked it and the atmosphere. The table hot sauce is killer. I couldn’t stop taking photos of my soup. I couldn’t stop looking at the TV.

Barzola Restaurant – 197 Meserole St (btwn Humboldt & Bushwick Ave) Brooklyn, NY 11206
Yelp reviewers rave about their ceviche.

Latin American Restaurant’s Roast Pork Pernil

Some nice bits of cracklin skin in there.

Latin American Restaurant – 29 W 26th St (btwn 6th Ave & Broadway) New York, NY 10010

Oxtail Stew from Gena’s Grill

Gena’s Grill in the East Village –long time passer, first time eater. Small counter Spanish restaurant, nice Latino lady. Pretty tasty oxtail stew. The pinto beans had flavor. Maybe it was pepper. This was under $9.

Gena’s Grill – 210 1st Ave (btwn 12th & 13th St) New York 10009

Spanish Harlem Taco Adventure

I met up with Jessica in East Harlem for some food. My first time in the area. There’s so many sidewalk vendors selling out of shopping carts, granny carts and trash bags. It was rad. It was so hot outside, I cooled myself off with a brown drink from one of the large jars many of the vendors had. I don’t know why I thought brown would be refreshing, but it was. It was tamarind.

We got $2 tacos at Taco Mix, which Google Maps incorrectly labeled as “closed”. Good thing I just got my new Virgin Mobile touch phone that told me where things are. I got unlost twice that day. Before, I would just get lost and go home. BTW, only $25/month for unlimited texting, internet, google maps and 300mins. FTW! Anyway, I’ve never seen Al Pastor on a spit and so orange. Next to it was a pile of boiled pigs ear. Had to get one each. The pig ear taco was crunchy.

Then on the same block, we had a pupusa from a sidewalk vendor who had their own griddle. The lady stuffed it with lettuce, cheese, crema and paste made of chicharrón (fried pork skin). The chicharrón really got stuck in our teeth.

From another sidewalk vendor, a lady making cups of slushee/shaved ice, shaving it by hand from a large block of ice. We asked what the flavors were. She said “blue.” We got a blue and a mango. Very sweet. Blue really did taste like what you think blue tastes like.

I noticed a bunch of hot models coming out of the apartment building next to Taco Mix. I don’t understand how they can stay so skinny with what’s right outside their front door. I wonder if they like blue flavor.

Taco Mix – 234 E 116th St (East Harlem) New York, NY 10029