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El Nuevo Portal: Cobble Hill

  • driggs Jan 23, 2011 03:14 PM

El Nuevo Portal on Smith street has managed to stay alive despite the tidal wave of hipsters and "foodies". Its one of the two remaining old school Latino places, and by far my favorite place for dominican food in Brooklyn.

The menu is huge and has pretty much everything, but I stick with the Latino food (Plantains, steaks, soups et) and the pastas (The influence of the old Italians I guess).

My favorites are the chicken soup, the steak and onions, and the pasta with clam sauce. The last was a real surprise for me, despite being a "house speciality" i did not try it for many years. Dont get it if you got issues with garlic. Otherwise give it a shot. Oh, and the fruit shakes are damn good as well.

They do a mean breakfast for the hung over, as well as have ice cold Presidente beer for those looking to add to the morning misery.

Its a nice antidote for those sick of the stroller pushing uptight its all about me cobble hill crowd. It aint Saul or Koi, but its got its charms.

Oh, here is Emily, the waitress
http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnade/5...

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El Nuevo Portal
217 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  1. That's funny, I'm partial to El Cibao, but end up going to Nuevo Portal more often cause it's closer and keeps more regular hours. We usually get takeout. Thanks for the tip about the pasta with clam sauce. i never would have thought to try it.
    They also do a decent cubano, and one of the cheapest bacon, egg, and cheeses in the neighborhood. I love that it's still around, despite what's happened to smith st. Wish their chicharrones de pollo and their maduros were better, tho. They ain't bad, but they ain't quite great. Good enough.

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    El Nuevo Cibao
    172 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

    6 Replies
    1. re: missmasala

      I have noticed we seem to share similar taste; but you are a El Cibato girl, and I a El Nuevo boy.

      I care more about atmosphere than i do about food. El Nuevo is pretty solid food and as you said, I love that its still around. I never got that vibe from El Cibao; I guess i am just a east side guy

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      El Nuevo Cibao
      172 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

      1. re: driggs

        Portal's got it all over Cibao on atmosphere, no question. But we usually take out, so atmosphere not so important to me.

        1. re: missmasala

          Neither will win any awards for gourmet cooking but I still go to Cibao when in need of hearty red (or black) beans and rice with chicken or pot roast. And I agree that it would be lovely if their chicharrones were a couple of notches better. Of course, I go to Vinny's for steam table eggplant parm to go too so what do I know?

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          Cibao
          1542 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

          1. re: Steve R

            We go to Vinny's far too often, too. You know what they say, "Location, Location, Location!"
            I always get jealous of the queens posters who have places like Sri or Ayada right around the corner from them. But not jealous enough to move. Yet.

            1. re: missmasala

              Not that makes a huge difference, but is Cibao mainly Dominican or Puerto Rican?

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              Cibao
              1542 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

              1. re: driggs

                pretty sure it's dominican.

    2. Has anyone tried the chimichurri at Portal? I've always been tempted by it, but always fall back to the cubano. (FWIW, I think Don Pepe on 4th Ave. has the best cubano of the three DR joints.)

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      Don Pepe
      42 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

      4 Replies
      1. re: lambretta76

        4th and what? never tried it, but i like cubanos.

        1. re: missmasala

          Don Pepe is on 4th between Pacific and Dean. When we move here in 1986, in the middle of nowhere, they had live lobsters in their window. They've long given up on the lobsters; and the two times I've had their cubanos (the last time about four years ago), I was not impressed. But this is not my expertise, so I would recommend that you try it and please report back. With a favorable recommendation, I'd be pleased to try it again.

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          Don Pepe
          42 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

          1. re: bobjbkln

            Let me clarify by saying that they have the best cubano of the group, including Cibao and Portal. By no means is it the best cubano I've had in the city, just a good fix when you need some garlicky, porky goodness.

            My current fave in the city is the one at Pilar. (My second favorite -- strangely enough -- is at No. 7 Sub in Midtown Manhattan, where its vegetarian version featuring zucchini and peaches evokes a lot of the same flavors as a traditional, pork-laden cubano.)

            1. re: lambretta76

              Never been a big fan of the Cubano at Portal; I prefer the soups and as I mentioned before, oddly the pastas