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Restaurants & Bars 3

Mi Ciudad

JeffB | Apr 14, 2003 01:15 PM

I wish I had time to give a full report on this Ecuadoran place on Irving Park, which has been mentioned in passing by RST and others. However, the meal that I had there this weekend was so solid, from start to finish, I wanted to at least say so and encourage others to patronize it. In a nutshell, I'd say Ecuadoran combines the best of Colombian and Peruvian, with a touch of Bahian-Brazilian. Items we tried: soupy ceviche, not my favorite style, but tasty; a great snack of dry-rub pork ribs with two kinds of hominy (boiled and toasted); good beef empanadas; sweet corn cakes, much more rustic, and IMO a lot better than, arepas; nice freebie house salads, like a ceasar w/ cilantro; very flavorful if a bit oily arroz con mixto de mar (much like the Peruvian rice dish w/ clams, shrimp, octopus, fish (corvina?)); fantastic fish and shrimp "encocado" (i.e., with coconut): this was precisely like the best vatapa I've had (thus the Bahian reference); and good cheap steaks including a churrasco with fried eggs, platanos maduros and fries. It's a very pleasant room with good service from friendly owners. I wish I could provide more details about the indigenous dishes, but the cuisine has its own lexicon with which I am mostly unfamiliar, and I don't have the takeout menu handy. Also of note were obvious Italian influences, common to many S. American cuisines, in the large but not-so-interesting pasta section, the lack of cuy on the regular menu, and a full bar including the excellent local aguardiente. In sum, I found Mi Ciudad to be a happy convergence of an interesting and in some ways unique cuisine, and a very competent kitchen.

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