Roast Pork At La Nueva Conquista Worth Standing In Line With A Bunch Of Dudes

There’s a place in Soho where the ratio of well-dressed, impeccably-groomed office workers waiting in line is noticeably absent. Instead there’s a decidedly blue collar male crowd of truck drivers and the people who deliver your food from nicer restaurants in the area (I stood behind a delivery guy from Lombardi’s). That place is La Nueva Conquista - a Dominican food institution that Daniel visited waaay back in 2008. Judging by his pictures, this place hasn’t changed a bit except for a price hike to $9 for your meat over rice + beans lunch. He tried the catfish and goat stew but I was here for the roast pork which I’ve read about again and again but never had the chance to try.

My first observation was that a line out the door meant good things for my lunch, seconded by the fact that I was the only woman in line. Again, normally this would weird me out but if I wanted to be surrounded by hipsters I could walk up the street to La Esquina.  There was a controlled order to how the line moved: Quickly decide what meat, rice and kind of beans you want, and then shuffle sideways to the cash register. My choice was roast pork over yellow rice with black beans, plus plantains for good measure.

If you’re at all squeamish about fat, steer clear of the roast pork because it was about 75% fat. I shoved those parts aside and concentrated on the crispy bits that found their way into my container. I can’t really tell you what the black beans tasted like because I have a cold that has desecrated my taste buds, but they were good – especially when paired with the rice. The pork was salty, fatty and well-seasoned although I did dump on some hot sauce (inexplicably, the same kind you get at takeout Chinese places).

I had heard so many good things about this plate of pig and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. No, the portions weren’t as hearty as at other options like upper Tribeca standout West Side Coffee Shop or Tauro Restaurant over on Hudson St., but rent in this part of Soho isn’t cheap and this was still a filling lunch.

La Nueva Conquista, 236 Lafayette (at Spring), (212) 226-9835


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