>> El Lider Bar & Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

29 July 2018

El Lider Bar & Restaurant


The teams of Ecuadorian Serie A, the nation's top flight football league are all represented proudly by stickers on the front door. More recently, the flags of every World Cup nation have been flying on the awning. El Lider is obviously a place that takes its football seriously, where Ecuadorian residents of the Bronx can come and watch their favorite clubs from back home on their nation's broadcasting network.

But the awning says "bar" AND "restaurant," so eventually a trip here was finally made on a recent sweltering day, as an air-conditioned refuge where cold beer was in the forecast. El Lider has the proper checklist of a Latin American bar that some people might call seedy. A better description would be lovable though, the dark atmosphere doesn't really let you see the corners clearly. The TV and jukebox are both up high at the same time. A resident drunk or two is always around, and the women who run the bar are very good at making sure nothing gets out of line.

The restaurant runs a good cross section through the cuisine of Ecuador and offers $9 daily lunch specials, a bunch more offerings on weekends, and a good selection of food. This ceviche mixto ($15, above) was a misstep and not as fresh as would be desired, but the coolness was necessary on this hot day.

To my surprise, underneath the pickled cabbage were squirts of ketchup and mustard, new to me but apparently typical in Ecuador. At first it was off-putting, but eventually the familiar tastes of these condiments were fine, especially with bites of shrimp rather than fish. It all came with a side plate of rice, which did a good job to soak up the juices as well.

In the spirit of the establishment, an economical cubetazo ($18, above) of six beers could not be turned down. Sadly, they do not carry Pilsener, the most recognizable beer from Ecuador, but plenty of light Latin American beers were on offer.

El Lider Bar & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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