The Definitive Guide to NYC's Chinese-Latin American Restaurants

Categories: Listed

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Zachary Feldman

In the years following the Cuban Revolution, New York City welcomed large numbers of Cuban-Chinese immigrants, and during the 1960s and '70s, restaurants serving these new residents' food abounded. This isn't fusion cooking like Peruvian chifa; rather, it's a mash-up of both Latin American and Chinese cuisines offered separately, side-by-side. Once a common sight on the Upper West Side and in Chelsea, these restaurants have slowly disappeared as the neighborhoods have changed; the people who built them embrace retirement and old age. This year, Washington Heights lost the beloved Jimmy Oro, and Chelsea's seen the demise of La Nueva Rampa, La Chinita Linda, and Mi Chinita, to name a few. But remnants of this once-thriving type of restaurant still dot the landscape, and the Garment District recently welcomed a new entrant: Calle Dao, named for a famous street in Havana's Chinatown, serves good Chino Latino fusion. Built on a foundation of no-frills cooking and barebones atmosphere, here are the remaining representatives of this proud, fading genre.


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Tasting the Vegan Burger at Blossom du Jour

Categories: Veggielante

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Tara Mahadevan
The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.

Destination: Blossom du Jour (449 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-712-9822)

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Cuisine: Vegan Fast Food

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The 10 Most Insane Things at Dominique Ansel's Wonderland Party

Categories: Events, nycwff

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Dominique Ansel via Facebook
Dominique Ansel's Wonderland Party was part NYCWFF event, and part launch party for the pastry wizard's first cookbook Dominque Ansel - The Secret Recipes. On Friday night at the High Line Hotel, he and a number of the city's top pastry chefs dazzled guests with trippy desserts. The Cronut King, who tore his meniscus earlier in the day, limped around the venue greeting colleagues, signing books, and taking AnSelfies with adoring fans.

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An Early Taste of Empellón Al Pastor, Now Open in the East Village

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If you stumble into a taqueria and want to know if the tacos al pastor on its menu are going to be worthwhile, look first for a slowly turning spit with a beehive-shaped mass of pork fixed to the rod. It looks a lot like shwarma, and that's no coincidence -- the Mexicans picked up this cooking method from Lebanese immigrants. The Latin Americans marinate pork butt and fat with chilies, and they place pineapple and onions atop the hunk of meat during the cooking process, so as to coax depth and sweetness into the piggy crust. After roasting it for hours, a cook will shave bits of the pork into a tortilla, and top it with a little chopped pineapple.

While the cooking method is more or less consistent, the recipes vary a bit by region. And the best versions are transcendent, a blend of savory, spicy and sweet, a harmony of textures provided by crisped meat and juicy fruit.

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Osteria Morini Offers $10 Handmade Pastas Every Monday

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All photos by Anthony Jackson
Each Monday, we're highlighting a bargain meal worth seeking out in this city. Most will feed you for less than $10. Need more ideas for cheap eats? See our archives.

It may be reasonably priced when compared to the rest of Michael White's Altamarea Group concepts, but Osteria Morini (218 Lafayette Street, Nolita, 212-965-8777) is certainly not cheap. Dinner here can easily set you back well over $50 per person. Which is why you should take advantage of this Monday deal.

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This Week's Four Best Food Events

Categories: Events

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Courtesy Dine in Brooklyn/Facebook
Enjoy $25 dinners and two-course lunches for $15 during Dine in Brooklyn

Looking to extend the magic of a fall weekend spent idling in a pumpkin patch? Check out these five uplifting events.


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Miss Lily's 7A's Buss Up Shut, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes

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Miss Lily's via Facebook
Dish no. 8: Buss up shut from Miss Lily's 7A (109 Avenue A, 212-812-1482)

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Inside Tacuba, a Mexican Cantina Bringing Grasshopper Tacos to Astoria

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All photos by Adam Robb
Across the street from Astoria's American Museum of the Moving Image, Toloache and Yerba Buena chef Julian Medina's transformed an expansive former corner outpost of Five Napkin Burger into Tacuba (35-01 36th Street, Astoria; 718-786-2727), the chef's first outerborough eatery. Here, he serves hungry neighborhood cinephiles abundant portions of modern Mexican comforts under a pair of clashing Day of the Dead calaveras hanging from the ceiling.

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Arrogant Swine Brings the Nuances of Carolina 'Cue to New York

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Photos by Zachary Feldman

Lately, it feels like you can't strut anywhere in this city without colliding nostrils-first into an aromatic haze of woodsmoke, but New York's barbecue culture has evolved as lowly and slowly as the heavily barked meats the beloved cuisine produces. From its '90s origins with Pearson's Texas Barbecue in Long Island City to the current state of affairs dominated by the brisket-fueled Lone Star State, Gotham's 'cue culture keeps maturing. The landscape's grown to include a number of barbecue styles from Tennessee, Kansas City, and the Carolinas, although dishes representative of those styles are usually run as specials or as part of broader menus, and plenty of creative pit masters have started tossing all manner of meats in their smokers. Now, barbecue apostle Tyson Ho enters the arena with Arrogant Swine (173 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn; 347-328-5595), an industrial smoke shack cooking up Carolina 'cue in Bushwick.


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Craft Contagion: Our Beer of the Week Comes From an Infectious Microbrewery

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Barrier Brewing Company
In this column, we're highlighting a local-ish beer worth drinking right now. Care for another sip? Check out our A Beer In The Headlights archives.

It's damn near impossible to go online or turn on the nightly news these days without being bombarded by the same alarming headlines. Many might find it unsettling that we are unable to do anything to contain it, but like it or not: Barrier Brewing Company is here to stay.

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