>> La Cabaña Peruana | Eat the World NYC

27 August 2019

La Cabaña Peruana


Most outsiders who come on day trips to the beaches of the Rockaways do not have much sense of the demographics or lay of the land in various neighborhoods, but there is plenty to explore north of the boardwalk. There are pockets of urban New York City from Belle Harbor to Far Rockaway, where besides the salt in the air you would never know a beach was nearby.

The pocket of commercial businesses in the neighborhood called Rockaway Beach is one of the largest west of Far Rockaway, stretching from Beach 86th Street down to Beach 102nd and encompassing one of the major vehicular entry points from Cross Bay Blvd. Beloved Dominican restaurants like Brisas Del Mar are found in this area, as well as this Peruvian favorite. Most beachgoers from other parts of the city stick to their own coolers and some of the expensive hipster-leaning summer stalls, but better food is on these urban streets where Rockaway residents eat.

One afternoon's "fresh catch"

La Cabaña Peruana advertises itself as a pollos a la brasa restaurant, and on any given day you are likely to find most if not every booth lining the bright orange walls full of folks tearing into this rotisserie chicken with glee. The rest of the menu spans the usual back and forth between chifa, or Peruvian-inspired Chinese, and plenty of seafood dishes.

Various forms of chicken, ready to be eaten by hand, work well around the world for beach food, but the mood on this particular day was for some of this seafood on offer.

It is always a bit of a risk in New York City and along the east coast to order shrimp dishes, but the big, high grade juicy shrimp used here in the ceviche de camarones ($16, above) warranted the relatively high price for a modestly sized dish. These are worth it by leaps and bounds, as is the slightly spicy marinade.

The pickled onions that are an instrumental part of this mix also come in a side dish to add more if necessary. It is served with a couple sweet potatoes and a good portion of hominy which has also been soaked in the same sauces.

The pickled onions and tomatoes also go well on top of the jalea personal ($18, above and below), the ultimate Peruvian bar food that does well to make your beach blanket heaven. Coming in two sizes, the "personal" is the small but was massive enough to fill two plates when transferred from its to go container.

The offerings in this dish included shrimp, squid, meaty hunks of whitefish, one large clam, and some strips of yuca, all fried. It should be stated that the batter here could win awards for not only being light and airy but delicious enough that nothing extra is requisite. But two containers of the yellow pepper wondersauce Peruvians call aji amarillo is included in the bag and should not be skipped for a real kick in the teeth. The onion, tomato, and cilantro topping also adds just the right amount of tartness to balance all the necessary flavors.

This is a dish that is always taken seriously by Peruvians, and the love from this small kitchen on a stretch of Rockaway Beach Blvd. is no different. Sitting here in the sun enjoying the last scraps until almost popping, it was tough to imagine how the chicken at La Cabaña seemed to be even more beloved than this by those customers dining inside.

For a next visit, both might be in order. When you have this little secret of Rockaway dining next time you come for a daytrip, you can snicker at all the folks eating overpriced burgers, burritos, and arepas.

La Cabaña Peruana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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