Honduran flags fly over the awning, in the window, and inside of Progreso, the only catracho joint in New York City off of Staten Island. The owner, who must hail from El Progreso, a city in the northwest, also has a small grocery and deli at 4503 Fort Hamilton Parkway of the same name. That location serves steam table foods and has a wide range of Central American products.
At the restaurant though, the menu is quite extensive and the city's small Honduran community can really get a familiar taste with a wide range of meals and three popular beers from back home.
The space is covered in blue, with tablecloths and walls all taking their image from the Honduran flag. A jukebox is available as well as two very large screen TVs for futbol. Scenes from El Progreso decorate the walls.
When I sat down for a late lunch, a table of five large women were gossiping at a decent volume, but once their five large platters arrived, the delicious smells almost drove me and my empty stomach mad.
I ordered the daily lunch special ($8, below) which gives you either chicken or steak with beans, a coleslaw like salad, and rice. The chicken version you see comes with a nice stewed red sauce, although the beans seemed like an afterthought and not typically Honduran.
Despite being alone and not being able to split an order of baleadas sencillas ($5, below), I went ahead and ordered the Honduran specialty and took most of it home. The beans, cheese, and cream inside are just about perfect, and this is certainly my favorite baleada I have ever eaten outside of Tegucigalpa.
My only concern was the stubbornly mean server and her complete disregard for any form of friendliness. When the word "lunch" slipped into my otherwise Spanish sentence, she spat "No inglés!" back at me and was thoroughly unconcerned with any of the patrons.
I do look forward to being here for some big games, cheering on one of the smallest countries to make the World Cup in 2014. This is definitely the spot for that to happen!