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Don Alex and Tambo's, dueling anticucherias in Corona


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Don Alex and Tambo's, dueling anticucherias in Corona

E Eto | Sep 23, 2010 10:51 PM

Passing by the corner of Corona Ave and 51st Ave (near 108th St), I've noticed two relatively quiet Peruvian restaurants across from one another that call themselves "anticucherias". Being that anticuchos are one of my favorite Peruvian dishes, I was interested in finding the definitive version of this dish. Anticuchos are skewered beef hearts, seasoned and grilled. Apparently, Don Alex once occupied the space that is now Tambo's, and then moved across the street to its current location (Google street view would confirm this). So Tambo's opened after Don Alex left that space.

Tambo's was a bit of a letdown. I tend to get most of the standard dishes when I first approach a new Peruvian place with things like papas a la huacaina, lomo saltado, ceviche de pescado, causa, and of course, anticuchos. Most of these items at Tambo's were pretty good, but the biggest letdown might have been the anticuchos. There was an off-taste I couldn't figure out, but for a place that seems to specialize in it, there are better versions in a number of other places. To be fair, Tambo's speicalizes in grilled meats, and I certainly didn't order to their specialization, but I'd be a bit wary after tasting the anticuchos. I'm willing to venture through the other grilled items.....

but with Don Alex directly across the street, I'm not sure I'll be making any great effort to try Tambo's offerings. Also calling themselves an anticucheria, I went for most of the similar standard items here as well. Dish for dish, Don Alex really impressed. The ceviche was a big portion, the beef in the lomo saltado was tender (unlike many Peruvian places), the papas a la huacaina had a nicely piquant and rich sauce, and best of all, the anticuchos were grilled perfectly and nicely spiced. Also specializing in grilled meats, Don Alex will be where I do most of my Peruvian explorations for a while. I usually head out to Northern Blvd to my top 3 places of Punto Fijo, El Sol, or El Anzuelo Fino, but if my first experience is any indication, Don Alex is as good or possibly better than my 3 favorites.

To give some bearing on where Don Alex and Tambo's is located, it's directly across the street from the Parkside Italian restaurant, and the park with the bocce court, and a block away from the Lemon Ice King. Timmy-O's is a block west.

El Sol
87-07 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

Punto Fijo
89-12 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

El Anzuelo Fino
86-01 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

107-02 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11368

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