>> El Progreso Restaurant | Eat the World NYC

11 May 2019

El Progreso Restaurant


While the northern reaches of Hoboken continue to see high rise residential development and a complete sanitizing of all life, a quick walk up the hill into Union City seems like an escape to paradise. The avenues south of 495, the artery that leads into the Lincoln Tunnel, are teeming with a Central American enclave made up mostly of Salvadorans and Hondurans. Each block presents a new restaurant, bar, or bakery, all while having a much more calm and serene feeling than the same streets north of the highway.

In and around New York City, El Progreso is probably the favorite name of a catracho establishment, with at least half a dozen eateries, salons, and even a liquor store in the Bronx named after the the city in Honduras that sits at the base of the Mico Quemado mountains. Much of the immigration to the area was from this part of the country, in and around the major city of San Pedro Sula.

Needing some energy after a climb up from Hoboken, first things first the icon of comida hondureña was immediately ordered, the picture perfect baleada (above). For the first time in New York, this baleada brought back clear memories of eating at an outdoor restaurant in Honduras, not so much from the inside but the way the tortilla was a bit charred on the outside and had the wonderful taste of the earth. The handmade disc was also thick, soft, and chewy; its creator should have a statue made in her honor.

Inside this meatless beauty is beans, cream, and crumbled cheese, all top notch and in flawless proportion. Is this the area's finest baleada?

With the hunger suppressed, it was easier to enjoy the charms of this simple restaurant. An open kitchen in the back dominates your attention as each dish is prepared fresh to order. Tables are mostly blue and white like the country's flag, with the five stars that represent Honduras and its four neighboring countries that used to form a united Central America.

A plate of carne asada (above) was also a winner, served with all the components of a proper meal. Warm and freshly made tortillas are given to help you add combinations of the beans, rice, cheese, and avocado. A tomato and onion salsa is just right on select cuts of beef. Often carne asada plates can be chewy and tough, but the meat used here is definitely far from the cheapest they could find.

With plenty of other daily plates with a heavy emphasis on meat, future visits will be looked forward to, but dreams will be full of those amazing baleadas until the chance presents itself to return.

El Progreso Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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