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La Fonda Boricua: Puerto Rican Food in Spanish Harlem
When I'm craving some good Puerto Rican food I head here to The Fonda Boricua. Located in the heart of "Spanish Harlem" (East Harlem), this restaurant is more than just a place to have some great food. They serve some typical Puerto Rican meals with a friendly and unique experience. There are no menus here, you basically have to know your PR food, or the waitress/waiter will sound off a list of foods available.
This restaurant offers a unique cultural experience with some art work and live latin jazz on Thursdays.
The food is so good that an "Throwdown with Bobby Flay was filmed here, the Arroz con Pollo episode. If you get a chance, definitely for some deliscious authentic PR food, YUM!!
Favorite Dish: All their dishes are great! I love their "pernil" (roast pork), with white rice, beans and and avocado salad. I've also had their fried pork chops, chicharron de pollo, bacalao quisado, filite de pollo, bistec encebollado, mofongo and beyanda.
La Fonda Boricua: Puerto Rican in El Barrio
Wanted to visit places "off the beaten track" in New York so took an afternoon up to El Barrio and Harlem.
El Barrio, or Spanish Harlem, is the name given to the area lying between Fifth Avenue on the west, the East River on the east and 96th Street on the south.
Some guide books warned that it is "more dangerous" than Harlem, although we did not feel threatened in the slightest. In fact it was actually quite pleasant not to be surrounded by the throngs of tourists we were used to further downtown. (Obviously you and your wallet will quickly part company if you came down here at midnight, reading your Lonely Planet guide out loud and posing for pictures).
La Fonda Boricua is a locally famous Puerto Rican diner that has served the local Latino community for many years.
The waiter who served us here was probably the most genuinely friendly and helpful guy we came across in New York. (Unlike at some of the more upmarket places where you get the impression they are simply “serving by numbers” to get a larger tip).
No menus, but there is a choice depending on what the kitchen has in that day. As we had just eaten pizza, we were only here for a taster, but even so, the waiter brought us free drinks to start the meal.
Excellent food, great service and superb value for money.
Was the only restaurant we visited where I was genuinely happy to leave a 20% tip.
Favorite Dish: Fried off the bone chicken with rice and beans
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