Does anyone know how to translate Piqueteadero? (Or
maybe it's spelled piqueteadoro) -- I've been going to
these little Colombian snack bars several times over
the past few weeks, and liking what I've seen. One
recommendation is Caldos Viejos on Roosevelt and 78th
Street; They sell a bunch of little fritter-type
things in their front window, very good.
Another reason to go to Viejo Caldas (not "Caldas
Viejos") -- their hot chocolate is dreamy. I've been
going there every couple of mornings on my way to the
subway for a breakfast treat. Particularly recommended
-- their papas rellenas (stuffed potatoes, a little
golf ball of mashed potatoes fried with a little piece
of pork at the center) are cooked just right, not all
dry around the edges like at some places, and are the
perfect size; and their pasteles de choclo (corn
fritters, sort of like fried corn bread) are great. I
don't particularly like their chicharron.
On this bitterly cold morning I went to the subway too
early, and VC was not yet open; instead, I bought my
hot chocolate at Mira Cali on 76th and Roosevelt. It
was good but not as chocolaty as VC. Avoid Mira Cali's
snack food; it's not particularly well cooked and it
sits in the display cases too long. But some of their
pastries are quite good.
re: Jeremy Osner
Woops -- gotta amend that observation about hot
chocolate. If you happen to be in Jackson Heights and
find yourself desiring hot chocolate, run don't walk to
El Rancho de la Chunchurria, north side of Roosevelt
Ave. between 76th and 77th. It's ineffably rich,
smooth, dark. Blows the competition away. (Only
problem: Rancho opens up around midday; if you want hot
chocolate in the early morning, as I often do, Viejo
Caldas is a distant second.)
re: Jeremy Osner
The search for the ultimate hot chocolate continues...
Yesterday I had one at La Casa del Pondongo, I think
was the name, on 37th Ave. and 89th Street. It was
right up there with the best -- very deep chocolate
flavor, and the counter man asked how much sugar I
wanted before he made it, which is a nice touch -- I
like my chocolate pretty bitter.
They also had a nice assortment of fried treats which I
will be sure to stop in and sample sometime soon.