>> Kelso Dining | Eat the World NYC

10 January 2011

Kelso Dining

PANAMÁ

There certainly is a shortage of Panamanian food in New York City, especially when you know how good it can be. Thankfully Kelso has been doing its best to fill this void for many years on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. In years past, the place had a more African-leaning menu, with tastes of Panamá from the Caribbean coasts where many African-descended peoples immigrated. Nowadays there are a few reminders of this, as the cuisine has refashioned itself as more mainstream Latin American. The clientele has also shifted to match this, as five years ago it would have been very different in here, especially on weekends.

For me, the best time to go is for lunch, when the place is buzzing with activity and people, and different lunch specials each day make for nice variety. Away from the lunch special menu, you can also find the pollo guisado ($7, below), stewed chicken with rice and beans. The dish is very comforting, only mild in spice, and comes with fried sweet plantains. All the chicken is delicious and has obviously been stewing delectably in the pot for the morning.



Another option is the pepper steak ($8, below), which despite being a bit dry is very good. It might be wise to ask for an extra scoop of sauce when it comes. It is also a mild dish, much like most of the cuisine.


They also have a nice array of side dishes, empanadas, and fried goodies that you could complement your meal with or take home. The ladies here really take care of you, and if you sit at the bar, the woman doing the cooking will certainly venture out and make sure you are happy with your meal.