Wednesday, February 07, 2007

El Deportivo Restaurant, Hell's Kitchen

Sometimes, you just stumble upon someplace unexpected and good. The other night, we were frustrated waiting endlessly to get a table at Cafe Sabarsky for afternoon coffee and cake, so we thought of Kyotofu for a light pre-dinner dessert snack. Unfortunately we got there too early and they weren't open yet.

So while waiting for LBT to meet up with us for dinner, we thought we'd just pop in for a drink and a warm place to sit at the restaurant next door. We walked in and the smell was so lovely and the clientele so lively, we decided we'd just stay and eat right there. No need to journey back out in the cold.

The place, El Deportivo, had traditional Puerto Rican dinner specials, served of course with rice and beans, for $8.95. I had the carne guisado (beef stew, pictured above); redneckhunter had the pernil asado (roast pork, pictured right).

1000yregg wanted to try the gallina guisado (hen stew), but they were out, so he opted instead for chicharrones de pollo (chicken cracklings, as translated on the menu), which were chicken pieces on the bone, marinated then deep-fried. It's just like a favorite dish my dad used to make all the time when we were kids -- zha ba kuai (translated literally as fried bits and pieces)!

Of course we ordered some maduros and tostones (sweet and savory plantains). The tostones were served with a delicious minced garlic sauce. And 1000yregg ordered a side of boiled yucca, which I had never tried before. Such a guilty starch pleasure!

El Deportivo
701 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-6869

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