We're visiting from Boston for the weekend and we went to La Cazuela tonight for dinner. It's an Ecuadorian place (the only one in Baltimore, according to the owner) in Fells Point, on Eastern Ave on the block east of Broadway.
Oh, and it's fabulous.
We over-ordered because there were too many things we wanted to try and the appetizers were pretty cheap. The meal started with a freebie - plantains cut and fried like French fries, served with a homemade mayo that had a touch of mustard in it. My wife does not like plantains, but she loved these, as did I.
For appetizers, we ordered the yuquitas (fried yucca wedges, served with chimichurri), the mote pillo (hominy served with egg and scallion), and the empanadas con queso. The empanadas were perfectly fried, GB&D, with a little sugar on top. The yuquitas were delicious, but it was the first time I'd had yucca, so I can't say whether it was better or worse than the typical yucca dish. The mote pillo was a little plain for our tastes. A hot sauce called ahi came along with the dishes; it was better with the yucca than the chimichurri, IMO. Each dish was $3-4.
For dinner, we both ordered the same thing, which doesn't make for the best review, I suppose: fritadas, barbecued pork spare ribs served with fried plantains, more hominy (plain), and a tomato/red onion salsa. The pork was outstanding, with a nice crispy exterior that had a ton of flavor from its spice rub. The interior meat was slightly dry, but I find that's common with this cut of ribs. The plantains were the best I've had, with great caramelization. (Last night we went to a mediocre "Cuban" place that used unripe plantains in the dish - this was a welcome turnaround.) My wife loved the salsa, I thought it lacked fire. The hominy was plain and after the mote pillo we weren't in the mood for more.
I also ordered a "mora jugo" - a thick blackberry drink that tasted like a nondairy smoothie. It was excellent, although it just contributed to that whole over-full feeling I had.
Total including tip was $48.
The main menu item I skipped but would like to try is the ceviche; I haven't had it but am told that Ecuador is the capital of ceviche, so this would seem to be the place to try it.
I haven't had Ecuadoran food before, but I've had Peruvian food several times and they're pretty similar. La Cazuela was definitely the best of all of these restaurants.
They take V/MC (door sticker says diners club, but they don't take it), and they're open daily for lunch and dinner.
I think that's all I've got. I really recommend this place; if we had it where we live, we'd be regulars.