After 12 years up here in the Heights we finally tried La Cabana Salvadorena (187th & Broadway) and really enjoyed it. Being non-pork eaters (which limited us somewhat), we settled on the pollo encebollado which had tons of onions in a wonderful cilantro-spiked sauce, the tamales de pollo (which also contained potato, garbanzos, and olives)and the sweet corn tamales (elote), which were served con crema, and the pupusas de queso con loroco. Still not sure what loroco is, but the pupusa was wonderful and kind of like a quesadilla with cheese and peppers. Our very picky toddler gulped an entire "morir sonando" batida (orange juice, milk, sugar) and our generous server offered us a gulp of "chang" which tasted like strawberry jell-o with seeds suspended throughout (thumbs up from the toddler). Even the pickled cabbage salad, which might have been standing around for 2 months for all we know, was really tasty. We'll be back for the beef and fish dishes.
We don't get out much, so we can't say it's worth a special trip, but if anyone's in the Cloisters area it's worth a visit.
Also, the Dominican population up here is reportedly bigger than that of Santa Domingo so there must also be some stellar Dominican places up here, no? We like El Presidente (163rd)very much, and the food was good at El Lino despite the rude service (207th)but where else?
Final note--took a friend to Saint Alp's on Mott Street for their special tea milkshakes with huge black tapioca pearls on the bottom. Dunno about how much the pearls add to the overall taste, but the novelty was worth $3.60.