Saturday, Kay did not feel well so she stayed in our AirBnB whilst I was off to meet @DaveCook . We met at a tiny Equadoran fish market restaurant at 34th and Bergenline. Unfortunately, they were out of several dishes we wanted to try so we left and tried our luck at a Peruvian spot on a parallel street to Bergenline which was delightful. Dave will have to ring in with the name. We had:
An extremely well done ceviche with ‘everything’. A nice assortment of fish, octopus, calamari, mussels and bay scallop in a sprightly citrus mix loaded with a kick of chile, corn, toasted corn, really good sweet potato, and a tasteless but great textured bit of seaweed garnish. We left nothing!
This was a peruvian riff on sweet and sour with pork, bbq pork and other stuff. Not what we expected with a gloppy sauce. But it was tasty if not exacly friendly to my blood sugar. But in fact, my blood glucose level stayed under targets all day.
More wandering followed, until we wound up at La Gran Via for Cuban delights. This one is a real winner! The front room was very old school with a diner counter fronted in tile and coffee shop classic stools. It was full and not conducive to photos, so we sat in the back room where a woman who has seen it all took great care of us.
I felt the need of veggies so I started with an avocado salad which was quite spartan but the avocado perfectly ripe and unctuous.
Dave’s choice for starter was a chicken tamale which was dense, tinged with garlic, and addictive.
We knew we wanted a whole fish and, with our server’s advice, we settled on a broiled snapper with griddled onion. Our sides were black beans and plantanos. Were were questioned at not having rice as a side. Unfortunately for me, I don’t know how to fit rice in my diabetic approach to eating.
the bananas in particuar, were superb: caramelized on the outside and toothy inside. The beans were yummy, but the pot liquor was a tiny bit sweet.
The fish was sublime. Clearly fresh, it was broiled deftly with nice caramelization on the skin and moist flesh. The griddled onion added a rich touch. This was a FABULOUS fish. We left nothing but bones and scraps.
They make a mean cortadito as well. A feast for $50 before tip.
More wandering north thru this vibrant and quite lovely neighborhood to an amazing bakery on a small cross street. Dave had a coconut ball which I broke off a piece. It was chewy and super rich.
Now feeling somewhat like hobbits in search of ‘third lunch’, we tried Cuban pizza at La Tinajita. This was super fun as a slice of Cuban life. Families with kids and dogs chowing down on substantial food.
Garlic knots with a thick marinara for dipping. Delish if doughy.
Dave chose a crab pizza and mine was topped with peppers. We traded tastes. Neither pizza were worth a trip exactly, but fun with nicely crispy browned bits on the edge from pan cooking. I only ate half of mine for blood sugar and fullness reasons.
At this point we zigzagged back towards 68th street where our AirBnB is and Kay was up and said hi to Dave. This was a super wander!
In a couple of hours, feeling in need of food, Kay and I walked to La Kausa at 78th on Bergenline. Another delight awaited.
We started with couple of small dense pucks of bread, which came with a red salsa and green mayo based dip.
We had potato with three cremas which was amazing. One crema was better than the next. The red one had a hint of spice and the green a lovely bit of earthiness. The yellow aji pepper sauce was bland. The potatoes were perfectly al dente. This was the second dish of the day.
I had a small salad of cucumber, beet, and tomato which I dressed with really good olive oil. I actually used the veggies to dip in the various sauces. It served its purpose.
My main was a trio of ceviche in three sauces. Each cup had an identical mix of shrimp, calamari and bay scallop in, frankly, similar sauces. Quite good. I don’t think I could have identified the sauces if they had not been side by side. There are a dozen other ceviche options so a return visit is a must.
Kay had hen soup with potato, egg and noodle with a led and thigh of boiled bird. We took home a quart of this which was breakfast Sunday morning.
What a wonderful day!