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Jan 21, 2009 09:34 AM

JP Latin America Restaurants Recommendations

OK, so after living in JP for several years I am a bit ashamed by my lack of mastery when it comes to JP's many Latin American restaurants.
Of course I've been to el Oriental many times. I tried Miami Cafe once and was not crazy about it, but would be happy to give it another try. And I thought La Papusa Guanaca was great. I have not ventured further down Centre Street than that.

I would love to hear people's recommendations, and if you could mention a dish or two that you liked there, and maybe a little flavor about the place, I would really appreciate it.


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  1. You've mentioned most of my favorites (I'm not a huge Miami fan, either).

    Tacos El Charro used to be terrific, but I haven't been back in years; run by a nice Mexican couple, been around longer than just about any taqueria I know. Acapulco is okay in a chain-y way. I'm not a fan of the Purple Cactus.

    On my list to try: El Embajador, Latino Restaurant, Cafeteria Tropical, Mi Tierra, Alex's Chimis (I hear the rotisserie chicken here is great),

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      For the love of God, man, DON"T do it!!!!
      My (old) review of El Embajador....

    2. Alex's Chimis is great (rotisserie chicken, make sure to get the onions and hot sauce)
      Yely's coffeeshop has all kinds of sausages and chicken and a whole bunch of sides

      Both are cheap but have limited seating (great for takeout).
      Try Miami again, I liked it, and its nice that they have beer and wine (as opposed to El Oriental)

      1. El Embajador on Washington St. is very good. Homemade-style food and cheap, as I recall. I've been there a couple of times.

        1. Try Miami Cafe again. They have great Cubanos (best in JP in my opinion), an excellent chicken soup and wonderful chicharones. Their braised oxtails are also a favorite of mine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RichardinJP

            I really really like Miami as well. I like it better than El Oriental, in fact.

            The thing to get at Miami is Chivo, a rich goat stew, slow cooked in brown sauce. For something like 10 bucks, you get a massive portion of chivo, a side container of sweet plantains (platano maduro frito), pinto beans, and rice. The goat is SO tender and flakes off in each bite.

            Don't ask for chiva though, 'cause that's something else. *grin*

          2. We had a really fun "crawl" in JP summer before last:

            One highlight: In warm weather, there's been a cart called Madego's, on Center, a bit closer to Jackson Square then Hyde Square, with good empanadas and a very warm owner.