Doing a search, I found this discussed four years ago, so I decided that a more recent discussion is in order.
Those who read the Boston board know that Chacarero, a Chilean sandwich shop in Downtown Boston, is one of the most recommended places on that board. They are a Monday-through-Friday-lunch-only operation that sells exactly one item -- albeit in several different varieties -- a chacarero sandwich. The sandwich in its most basic form is grilled chicken or beef on a homemade round loaf topped with muenster cheese, steamed green beans, fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, hot sauce and avocado spread. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Does anyone have a recommendation for chacareros in the NYC area?
I'd never heard of these before, but it sounds great - an interesting take on the Mexican torta (or perhaps the other way around).
Anyways, some Googling turned up El Guaton on Roosevelt in Jackson Heights. They also offer something called a churrasco completo, which apparently substitutes sauerkraut (?) for the green beans.
68-14 Roosevelt Ave (68th/69th St)
Edit: You may want to check out this thread:
El Guaton is now called JC & Family. There is Brazilian steam table food in the front, but they still make Chilean sandwiches.
Not to be an annoying plugger, but I wrote on article on S. American hot dogs (not churrascos, unfortunately) that will be in next Wednesday's NY Post (or possibly today's--I'm not sure). JC & Family gets a shout out.
I like the Chacarero place in Boston, but their chacareros are a bit "California-ized". They're kind of like the Chipotle chain, in that they emphasize fresh ingredients, and give you the option of chicken or BBQ style. But if you go to a Chilean place, a chacarero sandwich always means beef. A chicken sandwich will go by another name like a pollo completo or somesuch. The other place in Allston is probably a better representation of what you will find in Chilean communities. And that is the case here in NYC. JC & Family still makes a pretty good chacarero. I'm not sure if they still make the pan amasado there, but the fresh bread made a real difference. The cook who was there in the El Guaton days seems to still be around (maybe he's part of the new ownership?). The bakery on Astoria Blvd also makes chacarero sandwiches too. Haven't had one of these in a long while, so can't comment on them. I'm not even sure if this place is still around, but Don Juan Empanadas on Woodhaven Blvd in Rego Park also had chacarero sandwiches, but they were only available on weekends. There's a sit-down Chilean restaurant on Broadway near 65th (across from Spicy Mina) that may serve chacarero sandwiches, but I would imagine that would be a lunch item.
re: E Eto
The place on Broadway and 64th has not been owned by Chileans for at least 3 years AFAIK, unless they're back and I somehow missed it. Since there is not much demand for sandwiches at the JC & FAmily, they always make them freshly from scratch (I've seen them bringing out fresh avocados and green beans from the basement) and grill the raw beef - no re-heating, or steam table thing, and the bread is still very fresh. FYI, the cook who makes the sandwiches is out on Wednesdays, so you may want to make sure not to go there then.
The only Chilean restaurant I know in Queens is El Arrayan
91-06 43rd Avenue, 718-478-6245 I dont know if they have chacarero, but several years ago I went there frequently. They had a far better pastel de choclo than I got in Manhattan's three star Patria, and they served a great lomo de pobre too, and a mean pot roast. It's a nice place, it looks like Portena without the phony gaucho decor.