For homey Dominican chow in Washington Heights and parts north, La Nueva Espana easily bests the popular neighborhood mini-chain Caridad, says georgie. At Espana’s two locations in the Heights and Inwood, chicken comes a dozen ways–the roasted platter is a good bet, as is chicken breast in a sandwich. Also recommended: shrimp salad, shrimp in chile-tomato sauce, and unbeatable rice and beans. Decent coffee, too, black or con leche.
Rancho Jubilee offers a different, higher-end take on Dominican–seafood-stuffed lobster tail, steaks with mushroom-red wine sauce, and squash filled with seafood stew, for example. It’s good (if gussied-up) chow in a fun, tropical-looking setting, reports susieq.
For a rare taste of Ecuadoran food, the go-to spot is Genesis, where smart orders include avocado salad, ceviches (shrimp, fish, or clam), rice dishes with seafood, and empanadas de verdes (green plantain) from the antojitos menu. Other antojitos include muchines (fried yuca balls), papas rellenas (stuffed potatoes), and tamale-like ayacas, long recommended by chowhounds. (Genesis II, on 181st Street, is mostly a takeout shop, much smaller than the Inwood location.)
La Cabana Salvadorena is a perennial hound favorite. JoshG recommends its pupusas, which are patted out by a veteran crew of Salvadoran cooks; fillings include beans, pork, cheese, and loroco, the herbaceous Central American flower. Past picks include sweet corn tamales, sweet plantains with crema, and the hearty, filling plato tipico (skirt steak, cheese pupusa, chicken or cheese tamale–all for $8.50).
La Nueva Espana [Washington Heights]
1263 St. Nicholas Ave., at 173rd St., Manhattan
Restaurante Ecuatoriano Genesis [Inwood]
538 W. 207th St., between Sherman and Post Aves, Manhattan
Restaurante Ecuatoriano Genesis II [Washington Heights]
511 W. 181st St., between Amsterdam and Audubon Aves, Manhattan
La Cabana Salvadorena Restaurant [Washington Heights]
4384 Broadway, at 187th St., Manhattan