30 January 2012
Mini Picanteria El Guayaquileño
While welcoming on the outside, opening up the door of this Elmhurst restaurant is much like opening up the door of an auto repair garage. Metal wainscot decorates the walls, an odd choice of design in a room full of reflective surfaces and bright lights.
A lot people know this name from the truck that permanently parks itself on Roosevelt Avenue a bit to the north, serving up fine Ecuadorian specialties all night long. During the winter though, it makes sense to come down here for a nice warm seat in the restaurant, which also has quite a few more options.
On a cold day like the one I visited, order the morocho ($3), a hot milk and corn drink that is spiced with cinnamon. It is sticky, sweet, and delicious.
Humitas ($3, below) are also made of corn and arrive looking almost exactly like a Mexican tamal, wrapped up in a corn husk. They are much different though with a touch of sweetness, heavy on the corn, with a small dose of cheese as well.
A real must try here is the bolon de chicharron ($3.50, below), a ball of mashed plantain with crispy bits of pork skin. The ball is much more than it appears at first, weighing almost as much as a baseball. It makes for a good excuse to use the little red hot sauce they provide, which packs a serious punch.
An unbelievable deal every day is the sopa del dia ($4, below), which on my visit was the caldo de gallina. It is definitely hard to beat chicken noodle soup no matter what language you are speaking. The chicken in this is super dry, but given in ample portion and wet enough from the broth.
This block of Corona Avenue in Elmhurst is possibly one of the city's best, with strong Argentinean and Peruvian food as well. El Guayaquileño is setting the bar high for its neighbors.
94-54 Corona Avenue, Elmhurst NY
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