Latin Bites, Manalapan

Latin Bites

We had lunch at Latin Bites yesterday. It’s located in the Ashley Plaza, on the south side of Route 9. The interior is reasonably attractive, and Latin-style music was playing. At 2 p.m. on a Thursday, we were – no surprise! – the only ones there.

We started with the Ropa Vieja Empanandas.


The meat filling had decent flavor, but the pastry was leaden.

Before ordering the Arroz con Pollo, we asked our server if it was substantial enough to share. His answer: Definitely!

Arroz con Pollo

It came out steaming! Seeing the pile of rice, I presumed the chicken parts were underneath. So, using the large serving spoon our server brought us, I began rooting around to find them only to discover to my utter dismay that there weren’t any! Yes, you read that right! No whole pieces of chicken! Instead, mixed in with this humongous pot of rice (with some peas and a little bit of roasted red pepper) were very small chopped pieces of breast meat. Rather dry as was the rice which didn’t have a lot of flavor either. Hardly a satisfying main course.

When our server asked how things were, I told him we didn’t like this arroz con pollo because it lacked whole chicken pieces. A few minutes later, he came back and said he asked the chef about it. She told him she used to serve it that way, but customers preferred white meat only (they’d eat the breast meat and leave over the leg and thigh). So, she switched to doing it this way.

Overall, disappointing.

More photos in the album on my Flickr here.


Sounds more like Arroz sin Pollo


Why do people ruin everything

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For any Hispanic Caribbean joint, pernil is the benchmark for me. I always start with that.

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That’s no excuse for not including large chunks of white meat, if not whole chicken breasts.

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As a Manalapan resident, I can say the people in this town are not the most cultured when it comes to ethnic food.


I’m sorry you had a bad experience @RGR and tyvm for taking one for the team.

As for our area, I still think that Don Pepe’s in Freehold is putting out some real deal food at reasonable prices.