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Jun 12, 2008 10:08 PM

best PR style mofongo in NYC?

i know there have been a couple of threads on this; i did a search, but wanted to see if i could get the most uptodate info, esp as i feel like i didn't get a conclusive answer yet. we went to PR recently, my husband fell in love with mofongo, and i'm wondering what the best place to get it in NYC is. i've seen a couple of people say here that you just can't get good PR mofongo in the city--anyone know differently? or at least have a recommendation as far as the best thing you've tried? thanks much!

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  1. Most of the better mofongo I've tried in NYC has not been Puerto Rican.

    The monfongo I've tried at Old San Juan in Hell's Kitchen has been substandard the two times I've tried it. I've meant to try El Deportivo's, which is a little farther down on 9th.

    1. A blogger last week discovered a restaurant that has mofongo and nothing but... and he loved it!

      1 Reply
      1. You're probably best checking out a few places in Inwood and Wash Hts. There's Albert's Mofongo House on Dyckman & Broadway right on top of the subway station.

        You can also check out the menu guide put out by the Manhattan Times. A few of the places serve Mofongo in there.

        1. Albert's Mofongo House, which Brian S and rdc mentioned, is decent, but the ones that aren't served with gravy are a bit dry for my taste. My other complaint is that the vegetable sides are horrible, basically boiled frozen mixed vegetables. Expect to get vegetable matter elsewhere, since you do need it with mofongo.

          Cafe con Leche's (the one in the 70s) are hit or miss, but when they're on, they're fantastic. It basically depends on how recently the mofongo were made. After a while, the pork cracklings in the mofongo get soft and rubbery.

          There's a place in the west 90s or 100s that I've walked by a few times called Mofongo Depot, which I keep meaning to try. Can anyone give feedback?

          11 Replies
          1. re: cimui

            Albert’s Mofongo House is NOT puerto rican style mofongo, it's dominican/ny style. I cannot recommend any noteworthy mofongo in the city, but if i have one, I'll definitely post it.

            1. re: LRS

              Can you explain the difference?

              I may very well be ignorant, but my understanding was that Puerto Rican mofongo is more likely to be served with broth and Dominican with gravy. Albert's has both.

              1. re: LRS

                I lived in P.R. for a few years(Calle Las Marias in Santurce) and I think Casa Adela at 66 Ave C makes an excellent mofongo and is overall as close as you will get to homecooking in a restaurant.

                1. re: stuartlafonda

                  casa adela sometimes makes nice mofongo, sometimes not but i would go despite their inconsistency because the place is very nice, sure.
                  regarding the mofongo...well, fisrt of all mofongo is originally a puerto rican dish and mangu is a dominican dish but in the last 40 years in nyc, since puerto ricans are dissappearing and population is changing and there are more dominican joints now, dominicans make their version of mofongo. the gravy/broth factor is not important since puerto rican mofongo is eaten with gravy sometimes. the main difference, simply put: in puerto rico the regular mofongo (the one you eat with fish broth on the side) is garlicky and has little (very tiny) pieces of pork skin while the dominican one has chunks not just of pork skin but pork itself, the difference is very obvious visually. if you see the mofongo with bumps of pork, let's say, with irregular shape (like the one the blogger photographed above), it is most likely to be dominican. i'm not saying it's bad, the one i like is the puerto rican mofongo, there are people who like the dominican version, but i believe the person who posted this was asking for prican mofongo, that's all. so prican mofongo is either that one or the stuffed mofongo which is also very different from the dominican stuffed mofongo..again, dominican mofongo is just a melange of the main ingredient and the plantain, all mashed in the pilon, while the prican stuffed mofongo is the plain mofongo, open in the pilon, with a stew (lobster, octopus, carrucho...) inside. i think the best way to try mofongo is having a plain one (plain means with garlic and pork skin, and fish broth on the side) because it's much more flavorful. sorry for the typos...

                  1. re: LRS

                    interesting, LRS -- thanks for the explanation!

                    1. re: LRS

                      correction: I meant in the last 20-25 years or so, not 40, that was an awful typo...

                      1. re: LRS

                        Thanks, LRS. I've only had the bacalau (P.R. style) at Casa Adela's. Their chicken smells amazing and I need to try it too! Just got back from P. R. and Metropol's mofongo stuffed with shrimp and a creole sauce was delicious.

                      2. re: stuartlafonda

                        I know this is an old post I stumbled across but being raised in Puerto Rico, being crazy about mofongo, and making it at home myself, I have to agree with stuartlafonda - Casa Adela does make ONE of the best PUERTO RICAN style mofongo's in the city which are sadly & ironically far and few between.

                        I've been to Mofongo Depot twice and twice their mofongo was AWFUL in texture, in taste, in sazon. I wouldn't even dare call it mofongo. Maybe it was just happened to be the two times....hey, it happens to the best of places, even in our own kitchens BUT I wouldn't go back to Mofongo Depot unless I was dragged by friends and even then I would walk in grumbling.

                        Now...there is a chuchifrito stand on the south side of 116 street, between 3rd Avenue and Lexington Avenue. I don't know the name. It's been there since before the start of time! God, I lived for years in the neighborhood and never bothered to know the name....the whole family just called it " the cuchifrito place on 116"....the only thing that was important to us was their mofongo....who cares about the name just gives us the mofongo!!!!! HYSTERICAL! THEY ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR MOFONGO! It is the best mofongo in NYC hands down outside of gramma's or tia's kitchen!

                        But for the best flavor you have to eat there. Do your tongue a favor. Yes the place can get loud, yes the place can get cramped, but once you put the first fork in your mouth somehow you zone out! This is not a place you go to for the "ambiance", you go hear PURELY for cheap eats, your taste buds, and a full tummy! Oh and don't even try to be health conscious if you're going to eat mofongo!

                        1. re: narcisa

                          Great stuff, thanks! Is this the place?

                          It's formally called 116 Cuchifritos Corp., but you won't find that on any sign. Most people seem to call it just Cuchifritos.

                          1. re: squid kun

                            Yeah Yeah Yeah.....that's it!!!!!

                            If you paid me I wouldn't be able to give you the real name of this as a regular customer of over 20yrs!!! Isn't that crazy.....but regardless of wether you know the name of the place EVERYONE knows where you're talking about! LIke I my family the name of this place is: "the cuchifrito place on 116"

                            1. re: narcisa

                              I've gotta get up there!

                              168 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

                  2. I've yet to try the mofongo there, but I've heard great things about La Fonda Boricua's rendition.

                    I can absolutely vouch for everything else I've eaten there (chuletas being my favorite dish). It's one of my favorite restaurants in the city.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: chet steadman

                      La Fonda Boricua is AWESOME! They've kept true to their roots and have a postive influence. I respect that. Some of you may have not seen the place about 10yrs back when they first was a little tiny hole in the wall that some people wouldn't be caught dead in (kinda like the cuchifrito place on 116)....they just started to fly in the past 5 yrs I'd say but there food has ALWAYS been good and now its even better!