Archive for 'Aries Cafe'

Aries Cafe is Now Acuario Cafe; Still Serving Dominican Meats Out of a Service Hallway

A few weeks ago we put out a call for new contributors… well today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our newest members of the team.  Give a warm welcome to Karen L! 

It’s been awhile since we’ve covered Aries Cafe (on 37th and 8th), but the stalwart Dominican/Puerto Rican joint keeps going strong… with a brand new name. Not sure when this happened, but there it was just outside the building’s service entrance, on a sandwich board sign with a photo of shrimp over rice:  Acuario Cafe. The promising scent of stewed meats is still there but a quick google translate says acquario = acquarium. Does that mean more seafood fare than before? Hard to know when there’s no menu posted!

Sure, Spanish speakers have no problem, but my Spanish vocabulary is near non-existent. I can’t really listen in on other people ordering, only crane my neck to see the choices. Fried pork chop and stews made from goat, oxtail, chicken are still there. The only non-legged option I hear is bacalao, cod stew. No shrimp in sight, except on the sign outside.

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Get (Elevator) Shafted at Aries Cafe

Ah, Columbus Day: the holiday that reminds you that the cultural wars over Christmas are not too far off. I’m banking on the extreme majority of Midtown Lunch readers knowing the deal, but for those out-of-towners: while Columbus Day is generally regarded by many Italian-Americans as a holiday celebrating one of their own (who could also have been Jewish – hava nagila, baby!) many are now regarding it as an imposition upon native peoples.

What better way to declare a food blog’s position on Columbus Day than by hitting up a cuisine of one of the original islands discovered by Columbus and brought kicking and screaming into Latin America? Aries Cafe was recently mentioned by ML’s Twitter and having worked the next block over, literally next door to El Sabroso, I was definitely excited to give this place a shot. It last made an appearance on our pages during the storied and fabled Brooks Era. The time elapsed between merits a fresh look. Dueling Dominican/Caribbean elevator shaft eatin’ spots across 8th Ave? Don’t mind if I do!

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I Will Never Get Tired Of Eating Lunch Out of Freight Elevator Hallway


Midtown Lunch has always prided itself on finding “hidden” gems in our part of the city (after all, you don’t need a blog to tell you where the nearest Cafe Metro is.)  And there are some truly hidden treasures, none more so than the spots that operate out of freight elevator hallways. The most famous one is El Sabroso, the Dominican/Peruvian 6 seater inside the freight hallway on 37th btw. 7+8th.  But there’s also Nick’s Place (on 39th btw. 7+8th), and of course Pick a Pita made a name for themselves in a hallway on 38th btw. 7+8th, before moving out into the open on 8th Avenue.

There’s something fun, and slightly subversive, about eating in a hallway beneath a building, dodging giant dollies full of lord knows what, as you navigate the bustling hallway to get to your lunch.  So, when I read in the ML forums that there was another one of these places on 37th btw. 8+9th, I wasted no time.

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