On a corner in East Harlem is La Cabaña (2277 First Avenue), a small restaurant with just a few tables that is, nonetheless, roomier than most bodegas-cum-taquerias that have you leaning into shelves of dry goods. There's a steam table of various stews, and a capacious kitchen, by New York standards. The waitress invites you to come take a peek at the ripples of beef in salsa verde with strips of nopales, the steamed rice dotted with diced carrot and peas, the pork spareribs sporting Christmas colors in a salsa of green tomatillos with flecks of red chile de arbol, and the two kinds of beans. She uncovers the compartments with a Vanna White flair.
Scarlett Lindeman for the Village Voice