Mofongo, a Puerto Rican comfort food made from fried green plantains seasoned with garlic and pork cracklings, is screaming-all-caps scrumptious at Cuchifritos on E. 116th, narcisa declares. “HANDS DOWN THE BEST MOFONGO IN THE CITY,” she swears, “outside of gramma’s & tia’s kitchen!” An imposing mound of the stuff, studded with chunks of chicharron, comes plain for $4.50, or with a salad and a hunk of fried pork for $5.50. Both come with the customary cup of broth served with Puerto Rican mofongo (Dominican mofongo tends to get gravy instead).
“This is a tight, loud, crowded, dramatic Puerto Rican style spot frequented by locals for YEARSSSSSS,” writes erstwhile local narcisa; “you are going here for THE FOOD, not for ambiance, not for being health conscious, not for doting customer service.”
Downtown, narcisa’s pick for mofongo is the longtime hound hangout Casa Adela on Avenue C, which she finds good and authentic, though the kitchen has “off days here and there too–just being honest.”
Cuchifritos [East Harlem]
168 E. 116th Street (between Third and Lexington avenues), Manhattan
Casa Adela [East Village]
66 Avenue C (between E. Fourth and Fifth streets), Manhattan