Los Pollitos #2
Following Barry's suggestion (See "Good news for PS", 9/22), we went to the new Los Pollitos #2 at 148 5th Avenue. We each had burritos that were delicious. Though the burritos were all listed with single fillings on the menu, the staff was very gracious about going for the combinations we requested. Our Venezuelan waiter, Jorge Luis, was very charming, explaining that he had been a customer at the original Sunset Park place. When he heard they were opening a new branch, he applied for the job. So, he not only serves the food, he eats it too. He also recommended the flan, which he himself made. It was wonderful, delicately flavored with orange and garnished with orange rind. I must warn you though, the only negative was that it was HOT in the restaurant. The air-conditioning is useless at diminishing the heat from the kitchen. So, be prepared or choose a cooler day to try it.
I went there over the weekend, too. It was great - they've made a big effort to give it atmosphere, even going so far as to put candles on the table.
The menu is slightly expanded from the Sunset Park branch, with mole poblano, roast pork and the aforementioned flan. The waiter was so proud, telling us that he made the flan himself, we just had to get it! It was much less custardy/smooth than the usual version. I loved it. The orange rind in the syrupy sauce made it.
The food was all basically the same as the other restaurant - great roast chicken, tacos, tostones with garlic sauce, and gorditas. The only downside was that the beans were WAY too salty, to a ridiculous point. I'm hoping this was a one-time problem - I mentioned it to the waiter and he told the chef.
This is the most garlic-heavy mexican food I've ever had. And that's a good thing in my book.
I have to say, the service at this place kind of blew me away. I've never had a bunch of people trying so hard (in a non-obnoxious way) to make sure I was happy.
This is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, nice people and soulful food. The rice and beans were particularly good (garlicy, fluffy rice, and the seasoning in the red beans was tasty, reminiscent of PR sofrito with achiote maybe), and the guacamole too (watching it come out in a stone mortar inspires confidence). Chicken is delicious, though Ive enjoyed the chicken at Coco Roco and the Taqueria, generally the same in kind, pretty much as much. The fragrance of the pork on the steam table almost killed me with its deliciousness while I stood there. Next time.
On the down side, service is slow and still getting organized. I waited 20+ min for my takeout order tho the only thing that wasn't already standing, prepared, on the steam table was the tostones. Then they left out the chicken (!) and the tostones came without garlic sauce.
ps - Mexican food experts - is this straight mexican cooking? It seemed like it might have had other caribbean or so. american inputs. All that garlic, those beans...