Cafe: El New Yorican
Jackie Mercandetti

Cafe: El New Yorican

In my latest column, owner Alberto Rivera provides the hospitality, the food, and the explanation behind El New Yorican (pronounced Yor-ee-can), his west side restaurant of casual Puerto Rican cuisine.

Prepared in the style of Créole cooking, or what the locals call cocina criolla, this family-run eatery serves up a tight menu of wallet-friendly fare and service with a smile.

Here's a taste from my visit:

"If you are lucky, you will have enough time to peer through the prep area's window, where the unmistakable smell of garlic has made your nose twitch with curiosity. If you are luckier still, Rivera will tell you it is the classic dish mofongo and then take you around to see the fried green plantains being mashed together in a pilón (a wooden mortar and pestle) with broth, garlic, and olive oil. Available alone or alongside pork chops, fried chicken, or shrimp, the dish arrives as a moist, softball-size clump of sticky, starchy goodness, topped with strips of onion and enough garlic for your guests to insist conversation be had at a safe distance throughout the remainder of the evening."

For the rest of this west side story and the full review, go here.

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