I trekked briskly through the bustling New York City streets. My stomach sounded like a volcanic eruption as hunger gnawed at my insides. I met with a good friend and we resolved to create a list of food venues to visit, I urged her to do this as quickly as the volcanic eruption had started seeping through the lining of my stomach. My friend is Ecuadorian and was curious about my experience with traditional Ecuadorian, Dominican and Latin American cuisine. I informed her that I had tried Latin American fare before and that it is not that dissimilar from Jamaican food, as both cultures use similar ingredients. We swiftly jotted down a list of four little known venues around the area. The options we proposed were all so tantalizing that, we could not decide on just one restaurant so, we thanked heaven for our sturdy metabolisms and set out on an voyage to visit all four within the course of a week.
#1. Rico Pollo 1 (55-37 Myrtle Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385)
As soon as I walked into Rico Pollo, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was divine, how can I describe it? The aroma of baked chickens tenderly marinating in spicy sauces (enough with my food obsessions). Of the four restaurants my friend and I visited Rico Pollo is ranked as numero uno (at least in my book). Not only did the food taste delicious but the price was an absolute steal. I ordered the Longanizafongo (Sausagefongo) and my friend grabbed the maduros (fried plantains) with a papaya smoothie. When the check arrived– our entire meal drinks included totaled $13. Did I mention that the waitress offered us a complimentary soup? So, will I be returning to Rico Pollo? Por supuesto!
Hours: Daily: 8AM – 11PM
#2. El Dorado Restaurant (54-55 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385)
El Dorado was my friend’s first choice, and the first restaurant we visited. The venue serves your traditional Latin American cuisine, plantanos maduros fritos, pollo con arroz and picaderas (party platters). My friend ordered the pescado con zanahoria (fish with carrots) and I went for the chicharrones de pollo (chicken chunks) with plantanos. I regret not trying a more exotic dish, but the food was so delicious it just gives me an excuse to return. Our entire meal, sodas included totaled $31. They have a $5 lunch special on the weekdays for those who are interested.
Hours: Daily: 7AM – 12AM
#3. El Charro Bakery (1427 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237)
If you have been following this blog you will know how absolutley obsessed I am with bakeries. El Charro is a very tiny grab and go Mexican bakery that offers extremely cheap sweet breads, pastries, coffee and teas. Pressed for time in the mornings? Swing by at 8AM and grab a fresh sweet bread and coffee for under $2.
Hours: Daily: 8AM – 9PM
#4 El Manaba (341 St Nicholas Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385)
Interested in eating Ecuadorian? This Latin American restaurant centers primarily around Ecuadorian fare. Try out their Platos Tipicos Ecuadorians section of the menu and immerse yourself (at least palatably) in the culture.
Hours: Sun – Thur (9AM – 12AM)
Fri & Sat (9AM – 3:30AM)