Neighborhood: East Village / Alphabet City
10 E. 3rd St, New York, NY 10009
grilled skirt steak w/ chimichurri sauce
Mood: Loud, entertaining and with friends. Portions are on the heavy side.
Tastes Like: overly ambitious nuance of what could have been great Cuban food, but executed way too poorly. On my first initial visit, I wasn’t really in a rice mood, so I got their chicken salad instead. Plain, flat out boring. There were big pieces of chicken and apple, and aside from this, the vinaigrette and too much watercress & spinach leaves. I am certain that this place is authentic surely. You call tell by the thin slices of buttered bread baguettes here. crisp on the outside yet moist inside with the buttery texture. Mmmm.. Great Cuban food is about simplicity over an extensive period of time and tons of meat. I came back in hopes that this place would redeem itself. I ordered the ropa vieja, which was entirely way too salty. I had to scavenge for more rice just to try to offset the saltiness. It didn’t exactly work. The grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce was good, but the sauce was extremely garlicky. It was a good burning sensation for those that can handle it. Small dosages, but they could have toned it down without being so overwhelming.
Must Haves: the food .. I’ll pass. Sangrias, thumbs up
Stay Away: chicken salad
Ambiance: it’s tiny… with another tiny hidden room in the back. Windows are wide open, which is a nice option on non-humid days.
they were quick, but he didn’t understand a lick of English, which made it very difficult for me to communicate with him.
Rating: 2 stars
Caveat: They don’t do substitutions, which is a major bummer.
17 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
Grilled corn "Mexican" style
steak salad "medium"
Mood: Light & hearty snack. Their entrees aren’t worth it…but get the corn.
Tastes Like: nothing else here is worth noting but the corn, deemed “Mexican” style here. I would be remised if I failed to mention that this place isn’t really that authentic and maybe a couple of qualifying dishes like their Cuban sandwich, which I failed to pick. The corn is an appetizer dish that comes in a pair that is grilled and then slathered with cojita cheese, chili spices and a lime wedge on the side. It was absolutely amazing and I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the simplicity of the cheese, spices and the lime tops it all off. The grilled steak salad here was a little on the flat side and the dressing was too light. I expected the fish tacos to be stellar, but they were battered and a bit defeating in taste. If I were to unmask the batter, I suspect the fish was mediocre in freshness.
Must Haves: Grilled corn “Mexican” style
Stay Away: fish tacos
Ambiance: this cooped up place reminded me of a very casual diner with a tropical feel and maybe some hidden narcotics behind the bar. I positively felt as if I was in a foreign country, all that was missing was the humidity. Thank god the a/c was working to full capacity, which I can appreciate. Likewise, I didn’t mind the tight tables, all elbowed to elbow.
Service: service was good; we had two waitresses that were flying a thousand miles per hour and luckily we rarely had to summon them. They were surely busy.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Caveat: It gets super duper busy. I thought we had an early dinner, (7:30pm) and it was already packed. Be prepared to get on the “list” If you can’t stomach the wait, there is an express “to go” right next door. They’ve got the corn, but I can’t account for any of their main plated entrees.