05/05/13 9:52am
Try adifferent kinm

A Mexican cocktail of a different kind for Cinco de Mayo.

Sometimes I’m convinced that Cinco de Mayo was invented by Cervecería Modelo to promote Corona. That’s just one reason why I’m spending it in the Bronx eating Bengali food.  For those of you who don’t have plans yet or don’t like drinking frozen margaritas and dining on rice, beans, and mystery meat covered in cheese I have a suggestion. Grab a few friends and take a nice walk in the spring sunshine on La Roosie, as the locals like to call the stretch of Roosevelt Avenue that runs through Jackson Heights and Corona.

Start out with a Mexican style ceviche from La Esquina de Camaron Mexicano, Roosevelt Ave. and 80th St. Watch as Pedro the ceviche mixologist  fills a plastic cup with your choice of seafood: shrimp, octopus, or both. To the protein he adds a pour of a tomato-based concoction, olive oil, diced onions, avocado, salt, and hot sauce. Don’t forget to crumble some saltines over the top before digging in. If ceviche, or a “coktel,” as Pedro calls it, isn’t your thing head over to the nearby Taqueria Coatzingo, 76-05 Roosevelt Ave. for a weekend special: barbacoa de chivo, slow roasted young goat available in a taco or a platter with consommé and rice and beans. Stop by Panaderia Coatzingo next door for a cinnamon and sugar dusted concha to munch on your walk.

Sweet and cold, El Bohio’s shaved ice is a harbinger of even warmer days.

Sweet and cold, El Bohio’s shaved ice is a harbinger of even warmer days.

As you continue down La Roosie with shafts of light dancing on the street from the elevated train you’ll soon enter Little Ecuador. Its epicenter is Warren Street and Roosevelt Avenue, right by the Junction Boulevard stop on the 7. The corner and Warren Street are lined with food trucks and carts offering a staggering amount of pork, both roasted and fried. The ladies who run the cart called La Esquina del Sabor—the corner of flavor—will gladly offer up a sample of fritada, toothsome fried pork. Ten bucks buys a plate of pork with potatoes, fat starchy kernels of mote corn, and crunchy toasted maiz cancha. Need to cool off?  Hit up El Bohio,  98-17 Roosevelt Ave, Corona, for an old school Dominican shaved ice. My go-to is the fresa or raspberry ice ($3.50 for a large cup) with leche condensada. If you’re still in need of refreshment there’s a Dominican dude who hangs out around 104th St. selling fresh tropical fruits and drinks.  These include ginormous young coconuts ($5) that he will gladly hack open with his trusty machete. (more…)

04/19/13 11:51am
Shrimp cocktails in the sun, a taste of Mexico City on Roosevelt Ave.

Shrimp coktels  in the sun, a taste of Mexico City on Roosevelt Ave.

I recently wrote about the return of Pedro El Cevichero to the streets of Jackson Heights. This past weekend I checked out his new digs. Pedro has taken his old sign reading La Esquina Del Camaron Mexicano, or “the corner of Mexican shrimp,” with him and he’s gained three helpers. By the time I got to him I felt like I’d already eaten my way through half of Thailand. So in lieu of eating a coktel de camaron, I took a mouth-watering photo of a pair of freshly made ones. I can’t wait to go back and try the first coktel of what are sure to be many. Shrimp coktels are available in three sizes ($8, $10, $12). The excellent mixto, shrimp and octopus is ($6, $8, $10). Find Pedro on weekends at Roosevelt Ave. and 80th St. from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

01/02/13 1:07pm
It's an aquatic cornucopia!

This aquatic cornucopia will put a panther in your tank!

Cevicheraw fish that’s been cooked in lime juiceis one of my favorite Peruvian dishes, refreshing and packed with protein. I always feel great after eating it. For a long while I had a thing for leche de tigre, or tiger’s milk. Served in a martini glass it’s so named for the milky liquid, composed mainly of lime juice and chopped seafood. I like to order it spicy and then drain the remaining liquid. Talk about invigorating.

And then I discovered leche de pantera ($13) at Cevicheria El Rey. It makes leche de tigre look a kitten. Like the tigre it has shrimp, half a blue crab, and bits of chopped seafood. That’s just the beginning though. It’s amazing how much seafood you can cram into a martini glass. There were also two baby squids, a mussel, and several clams in there. It gets its color from concha negra. Topped with crunchy maiz cancha it’ll put a panther in your tank for sure.

Cevicheria El Rey, 85-16 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights, 718-606-9077