>> Ecuadorian Ceviche/Encebollado Vendor | Eat the World NYC

07 May 2019

Ecuadorian Ceviche/Encebollado Vendor


On a couple walkabouts during the last six months I have twice hiked by this corner in the Mt. Hope section of the Bronx and been intrigued by a regular-looking food cart offering very unusual (for a food cart) Ecuadorian treats. This past weekend conditions finally aligned on the third visit (the right day, an empty belly) to give it a try.

Encebollado de pescado, a uniquely Ecuadorian fish stew cooked with onions was actually the first choice but already finished by 12:45 on a very nice Saturday. That left three varieties of ceviche, all $12, on offer; shrimp, shrimp and fish, or shrimp, fish, and octopus. These options are only available on Fridays and Saturdays, otherwise the sandwich board is flipped around and just the normal New York City offerings of hot dogs and sausages are shown.

The ceviche (below) is served with white rice as common in Ecuador, but thankfully the beloved ketchup and mustard toppings were left out this time. In addition to a small portion of maíz tostado (toasted corn) that is essential to Ecuadorian ceviche, a packet that looks like ketchup but is actually hot sauce is given as well. Squirt that all in as it is not that hot.

The cart sets out a couple stools for customers, but these seem to be the exclusive property of some local old-timers who come to chat with the proprietor and each other. Standing while eating is probably going to be a requirement here, but the communal atmosphere of the always busy cart is enjoyable to be around.

Other customers were ordering grilled skewers of meat variously called chuzos or pinchos at many Latin American carts but usually referred to as carne en palito by Ecuadorians. These seemed to be the most popular item, and much more convenient for eating while upright.


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