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Chilean sandwiches

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?

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  1. 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.

    El Guaton
    68-14 Roosevelt Ave (68th/69th St)
    718.478.1199

    Edit: You may want to check out this thread:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    2 Replies
    1. re: lambretta76

      Thanks. That was the four-year-old thread that I came up with when I searched. I'll try to check out this place next time I'm through Jackson Heights (next week probably).

      1. re: lambretta76

        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.

      2. Oh, I forgot to mention that you can find chacareros (as well as empanadas and baked goods) at San Antonio Bakery #2 in Astoria. I don't have the address on hand. Both the sweet and savory items are very good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Krista G

          The place in Astoria is on Astoria Blvd (service road to the GCP, it's on the southern side), and about 37th street? Right around the police station, and before Steinway.

        2. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: E Eto

            Thanks. The place in Allston (La Mamma) may be more authentic, but I like the downtown ones better. That said, they're both good!

            1. 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.

            2. I was just missing Chacarero terribly! Thanks for reading my mind!

              1. 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.

                1. i love San Antonio #2! their chilean hot dogs are awesome. they do have a few sandwiches that rock, i had the lomito and with some of their pebre that they have on the tables for eating in and it was really really good. you should def eat there so that its still toasty and melty... might need to go pay them a visit tonight on my way home!
                  also- tried their seafood empanada. different from most of the empanadas i've had for sure, but i had never had one chilean style before. spicy filling in a crunchy baked shell, wouldn't say no to having it again.

                  36-20 Astoria Blvd. (corner of 37th St)

                  1. Hey I am new to this site just saying hello and great info you guys are providing. I am half Chilean and I am in NJ. I cant wait to try these places you mentioned.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Victor

                      victor welcome & please post when you try them i would be interested in hearing your opinions.

                    2. I sauntered down Roosevelt Ave on Saturday afternoon and stopped at JC & Family for a chacarero. They were so gracious and sweet, eventhough they had to send a guy out to buy an avocado! I was apologized to many times for the wait (which I didn't mind one bit! A good sandwich is worth at least 10 minutes of sitting and watching the neighborhood kids hop along the street...) and the sandwich was terrific. And HUGE! I ate half in Doughboy Park and saved the other half for later.

                      (Later ended up being about 30 minutes later. I kept thinking about my chacarero.)

                      1. i went to the jc and family and was very disappointed with the sandwich i got. i had been there about a year ago and ordered the completo sandwich and it was tasty and huge and the service was great. today, the service was incredibly slow, the sandwich wasn't very good and it was kind of tiny. basically, now they are serving what they call the churrasco completo, which is just some thin, cooked beef, (which they defrost right there when you order) with some saurkraut, avocado and tomato. it's nothing special, and is a lot closer to a brazilian sandwich than the chilean sandwiches they used to serve there. and the price has gone up from what it used to be. so, i'd say stay away. whether it's because of new owners, managers or workers, the sandwiches now should be avoided.

                        1. I have been searching for years for a lomito avocado sandwich made with steamed pork and mashed avocado on a Chilean roll. Has anyone any leads?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Barry Strugatz

                            Delicious lomito similar to what you describe at:

                            El Guaton
                            68-14 Roosevelt Ave (68th/69th St)
                            718.478.1199

                            1. re: nobody special

                              El Guaton never had anything like that. Also, El Guaton is gone (now called JC & Family), but they do mostly Brazilian buffet now.

                              1. re: E Eto

                                I had a lomito sandwich at JC Pizzeria (formerly El Guaton) with tender sliced pork and avocado on Chilean bread. Maybe one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.

                                There's a woman who sets up a steam table in the front with Brazilian food, but the Chilean restaurant/pizzeria, and, most importantly, the sandwich counter are still there.

                                1. re: nobody special

                                  i'm sure you did have a great sandwich there. but as of 12/15/06, they were no longer making that sandwich, but rather a crappy imposter sandwich with the same name but different contents. which is what prompted me to reactivate this thread.

                                  1. re: joekarten

                                    Joe,
                                    Sorry, I didn't see your original post. Really? The last time I was at JC Pizzeria was about a year ago, and I'm so sorry to hear things have changed. This is a TRAGIC loss to the New York sandwich scene.

                                    Oh, goodness. I just lost my favorite sandwich.

                            2. re: Barry Strugatz

                              Adam's Catering, El Rey del Chacarero, also makes this sandwich, minus the Chilean bread. He uses a hero/hoagie style bread. He's located on the corner of Port and Navy Streets in Port Newark. Mapquest the intersection or plot it on your GPS..... but enter the city as Newark.

                            3. Ok guys I am Chilean and well I dont eat meat but I know what you are talking about. These are simple sandwhiches and can be made at home. Of all the nationalities represented in the US, Chile is not one of the big ones. So our restaurants arent a plenty.

                              By the way the avocado is called Palta. Which if any of you want the simple recipe just ask. Pan amasado is my most hated bread - I could never stand the taste, I prefer ayuyitas, a smaller layered tastier bread. There is also another Chilean Sandwhich called barros luco, has swiss cheese and steak - again never tried it - but palta on any thick bread is dreamy.

                              1. I just wanted to let everyone know JC and Family is now closed. I went a couple of weeks ago only to find a pizza place has taken its place. There is an amazing Thai place just around the corner, called something like Saripathai.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JamesHH

                                  Are you a newcomer to NYC and Chowhound? Everyone on chowhound is familiar with Sripraphai. It's the one of the most discussed Restaurants and has been for years.

                                2. I invite you to prove the Fricandela, an old chilean sandwich. I don't know where in the world (outside Chile) you can find it but if you have inquiry spirit worth the effort...
                                  (in advance: is a very special burger)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lopezlago

                                    The Fricandela is an awesome sandwich. I actually have never told my friends about it as Adam, El Rey del Chacarero, doesn't make this all the time. I haven't had one in a while and I'm glad you mentioned it here. I need to ask him if he has any to make. I can't explain to you exactly what it is as it is like a chef's surprise sort of thing. Honestly, ...go to Chile and unless you know exactly where to go to order this thing, you will have the hardest time finding it. Adam knows how to make it because he used to work in a restaurant in Santiago when he was younger. The closest I can explain to you what it is, well, it's like a beef croquet sandwich (not sure of the ingredients that are in the croquet mixture) topped with tomato slices, sauerkraut, mayo and mustard. It sounds a little weird but it is one of my all time favorite secret meals.

                                  2. Adam's Catering Lunch Truck, El Rey del Chacarero, is located on the corner of Port and Navy Streets in Port Newark, NJ. He is open from 5am-3pm, but he will begin making lunch orders at/around 10:30/llam. Adam has been in business in the Port Newark/Elizabeth area for about 10 years, give or take. His famous chacareros can be ordered with either beef or chicken. They are both as equally delicious. (His grilled chicken, however, is incredible). Tomatoes, avocado (palta), string beans, mayo and his homemade pebre....it is the perfect sandwich. The difference with this sandwich is that he makes it on a fresh toasted large hoagie style bread that is about 8" long. It is a large sandwich so you better go hungry.

                                    Like E Eto's comments mentioned on this page, traditionally the chacarero is a beef sandwich made on pan amasado. Also, traditionally, there is no muenster cheese on this sandwich (I've never heard of any Chileno making it this way before), and palta (avocado) isn't included unless you ask for it. The pebre (hot sauce) is condiment that someone one add on their own. Take a trip to Chile if you want to see for yourself.

                                    All my friends/co-workers are hooked on this sandwich. I think it costs $6.75, but make sure and ask the price before you order for those of you that are on a tight budget. Most people don't like eating at lunch trucks because what usually comes to mind is some old, greasy truck that looks like it hasn't been cleaned in years. You will be shocked on how clean and large Adam's truck is. The food you order is worth every penny.

                                    1. Hi Blumie,

                                      You're in luck. There's a Chilean quick service restaurant opening up in NYC sometime in September. Check out their website: www.barrosluco.com

                                      Here is an article about the place:

                                      http://midtownlunch.com/2009/08/19/ba...

                                      Sounds amazing. I can't wait for it to open. It can't come soon enough!!!!!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jaib

                                        That's awesome! Thanks! (Now if we only could do something about that dreadful location!)

                                        1. re: Blumie

                                          well i have been to this hidden gem in the city (and i say hidden because its real small) but the food here is awesome. DE-LISH! basically it's just sandwich/empanada spot. but the food is really good here and the staff are super friendly!.
                                          Barros Luco is located in midtown Manhattan...300 East 52nd Street
                                          New York, NY 10022
                                          (212) 371-0100
                                          well i have been dying to eat un pastel de choclo if anyone knows of a good place in nyc/nj please let me know, i tried google but i have no luck :(

                                          -----
                                          Barros Luco
                                          300 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022