Archive for 'Latin'

$5 Off When You Spend $10 at Leña Latin Grill: In the mood for Latin food? Google Offers has a coupon for $5 off when you spend $10 at Leña Latin Grill (35th St. btw. 5th+6th). With a deal like that, you can splurge on one of their plate lunches and get a fresh-squeezed juice.

Sophie’s Serves Up Delicious Cuban Style Tamales

I started loving tamales when I worked in Corona, Queens, near Tortilleria Nixtamal. The folks there use the traditional nixtamalization process on their corn and make their own masa dough (the dough used to make tamales, tortillas, and other fun stuff) right in front of you! By the way, they now have a smaller downtown location, Nixtamalito, and they also provide ingredients to the food trucks Mexico Blvd and Kimchi Taco, according to their website. I used to have lunch there 2-3 times a week sometimes, and I really missed my tamales!

So I’ve been jonesin’ for some tamales, no lie. They’re cheap, tasty, and very filling–think 6 bucks to feel like you have big ol’ corn brick in your belly. But I hadn’t seen many places around midtown. But one day I looked through the window of Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine (the one between 45th St btw 5th + 6th) and I noticed they had some corn husk wrapped tamales for sale! So I grabbed a few of what I now know is a Cuban-style tamale.

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Six Lunches Midtown Needs from South America


It’s been ages since I got back from my month-long trip to Peru and Argentina, but as I settle into a new area of midtown, I can’t help but think back to all the wonderful foods that I wish was readily available for lunch. Besides being crazy cheap, it was just all so tasty. See what I’ve been craving after the jump..

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Another Look at the New Palenque Colombian Truck

After reading Brownie’s recent preview of Palenque, the new Colombian truck that just started parking in Midtown, I knew I had to try it immediately. I braved the wind and the rain last week to get a hold of some delicious arepa goodness.  In addition to the traditional corn, Palenque offers some unconventional varieties of arepa: quinoa, brown rice with flax seeds, and brown rice with sesame seeds. They have a variety of meat and vegetarian toppings, so everyone should be able to find an arepa combination that pleases them. Since Brownie already went the conventional route, I decided to branch out and try the quinoa arepa with beef ($8). They offered to add hogao for $1 extra, and who was I to argue? With that addition and my $2 sugar cane and ginger lemonade I ended up slightly over the ML limit, but for the sake of science I let it slide.

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OUT Latin Food Not Worth The Trek

Out Latin Food
When I heard that the old Bai Cha space was being re-purposed as a Latin food spot, called ‘OUT’ I was both excited and hopeful. To be frank, Bai Cha was plain out awful, and as much as the food scene in Hells Kitchen has improved over the past few years, the area still needs a serious culinary kick in the ass. A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Bai Cha’s replacement (I confirmed that OUT’s owner is different than Bai Cha’s as well), and found that unfortunately, it seems that any restaurant space occupying 710 9th Ave may be doomed to mediocrity.
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Shachi’s (Finally) Brings Arepas in Midtown!

Arepas are something I look forward to eating when I head downtown or when I find myself in Brooklyn or Queens. But I never think about eating them in Midtown. I suppose the reason is that the Venezuelan/Colombian specialities are not easily available in this neck of the woods. That is until Shachi’s Arepas To-Go opened a few weeks ago. The NY Times just reported the opening this week, but the guy working the counter told me they’ve been there for more than a month already. How did we miss this? I guess it was slightly confusing because it seems this is the sister restaurant to one that recently closed in Williamsburg. And the website and Yelp reviews make it sound like this is a sit-down restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen that’s been around for years. Hm.

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El Guayaquileño is Back on the Street

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It’s been some time since we’ve seen the Ecuadorian lunch truck El Guayaquileño. Last I’d heard, they had temporarily converted it into the Malaysian Kitchen Food Truck in the fall.  Then yesterday, I stumbled across it at its old spot on 37th Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway. Does anyone know how long they have been back? Just as I got there, the lady inside darted off on her break, so I didn’t get to ask any questions. Regardless, I’ll be keeping an eye out so I can try some of that goat stew Mamacita raved about last year. Seems like the perfect thing to brighten a rainy spring day.

Mangu Dominican Coming Soon to 45th

Thanks to Lunch’er “Moonji” for sending along this tip last week… “Just saw the attached sign this afternoon, on 45th between 3rd and Lex (where the old Tasti-D used to be). Hope it’s something reasonable and delicious! Their website is up but no menu/information up yet. I did see someone inside working on stuff.” Nice… could be good. We don’t really have a shortage of Latin food in Midtown, and Margon (on 46th btw. 6+7th) is actually run by Dominicans (despite calling themselves a Cuban restaurant.) But it will be cool to see a place that takes ownership of their Dominican heritage. More info as soon as we get it…

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Leña Latin Grill is Way Better Than We Expected


When Leña Latin Grill opened up in June (on 35th btw. 5+6th), we pegged it as a “Latin Chipotle” (yes, South American would have made more sense) and comments were mixed. Since then I’ve stopped in several times and to be honest… I keep going back for more. See why after the jump.

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K Food Pizza adds $5.50 Latin Buffet

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As much as I love a cheap meal, I haven’t really been able to get behind the 99 cent pizza trend, which is why back in February, it was Brownie who hopped the subway to try the dollar slice at K Food Pizza (on 33rd btw. Mad+5th) even though I work a block away. This pizza joint, located on the site of the old Golden Krust, has been churning out dollar slices ever since and it hasn’t once tempted me to walk in the doors. That is, until I saw the sign advertising a Latin Food Buffet for $5.50!
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