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Feb 2, 2011 02:31 PM

Looking for Fantastic Latin food across the United States for a project for my Spanish class

Hey guys,

So I totally messed up the first time when I posted this. Initially I was going to post the same message in different sub forums, but I totally can see how that could be considered spam, so I apologies for the first 2 posts!

Anyway, I decided to undertake a project for my Spanish class where I would travel to different states and cities across the United States and sample different restaurants that were Latin in nature. Because my class this semester is online, my professor said to absolutely go for it. My Plan was to go from Charleston South Carolina, to Los Angeles looking for different latin restaurants.

First I thought that Yelp would be my best bet, but then I remembered the Chow community and I was hoping I could get some help before venturing off into the wild. Below is my potential route:


If anyone had suggestions of where to go that would be amazing. Weather Spanish, or Brazilian, or Argentinian, pretty much anything that is Latin in dynamic, I would love your suggestions. Hole in the walls would be amazing too!

Thanks a lot!

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  1. While you are en route from DC to NYC, I'd suggest a stop in Philly. It's home base for Jose Garces--Amada, Tinto, Distrito, Chifa and others.

    Also Alma de Cuba, Cuba Libre for Cuban. For Brazilian, there's Chifa in the city, and many other good options in the neighborhoods in the Northeast and the burbs.

    There are dozens more. If you're interested in stopping in Philly--not even a detour from DC to NYC--post on the Philly board. I'm sure you'll get enough recommendations for a week of eating.

    1. Jose Andres, a top Spanish chef, has several restaurants in the DC area.

      NYC has attracted immigrants from all over Latin America. Historically there has been a lot of travel back and forth between Puerto Rico and NYC. For example Bernstein's West Side Story. Daisy Martinez, who has several TV shows on Latino cooking, and a book, is from NYC. Early in Chow history, there was talk about the Arepas Lady, a street vendor of arepas, a Columbian corncake. There have been several Throwdown episodes featuring NYC Hispanic specialties.

      Some parts of New England have an old Portuguese heritage, and some western suburbs of Boston have high Brazilian concentrations.

      Chicago has several neighborhoods with high Mexican concentrations. Rick Bayless has several restaurants in Chicago.

      San Antonio, Texas, is the birthplace, so to speak, of chili. And Tex-Mex cooking can be found all over the state.

      Hispanic influences in Utah do not seem to be very great. New Mexico has much deeper Mexican roots.

      Los Angeles has both an old Mexican heritage and several waves of newer immigrations.

      1. So you are just going to write a fantasy report as if you had eaten at restaurants in these places?

        In Austin, TX:

        Have a stop by at one of my favorite places, Costa Del Sol. It is a Salvadoran resto that sells pupusas and tamales salvadoreƱos. They have platano frito and yuca frita also. The pupusas are wonderful, and the tamales are light and fluffy, wrapped in banana leaves, and stuff with meat of choice (chicken or pork), potatoes and garbanzos.

        Also, I love the food truck La Fogata (MX). They have enchiladas potosinas. For these, the masa has been moistened with ground chile in liquid, giving the tortillas a beautiful orange color and a special flavor. They are stuffed with either melting cheese or ground beef, pan fried, topped with queso fresco and avocado slices, and a dash of crema. So delicious.

        Visit El Pollo Rico (MX) for Monterrey style pollos asados. So delicious that I eat the softer bones of this chicken. Better than finger licking, I am talking bone chomping. A whole or half chicken comes as a meal with tortillas, rice, beans, a lime, red salsa, and this amazing spicy green mayonnaise-esque salsa verde that is like creamy green chile fire.

        Go to Dos Batos (MX) for Monterrey style wood fired beef flour tortilla tacos. They are giant. I prefer La Pirata, which has melty cheese and avocado. The beef is smokey and simply seasoned with salt and pepper, but comes with a nice red salsa to spice it up. Served with elote con crema and beans, each just a penny to add to your meal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: luckyfatima

          The way I read it, alphaprojectt is actually going to take this trip.

        2. in los angeles, there is are three restaurants with the same name (operated by different members of the same family) that specialize in seafood served in the style of Nayarit and Sinaloa.
          ONLY go to the one that is located on Imperial Hwy near Yukon in inglewood. ONLY go when Sergio is cooking there.
          the name is Mariscos Chente.
          they all close early.
          call before your go to make sure that sergio will be the one cooking when you get there.

          1. CHICAGO, IL
            Rick Bayless' restaurants are top tier examples of Mexican cuisine, from his high-end Topolobampo, to his more everyday fare at Xoco. The neighborhoods of Chicago, however, have many gems of Mexican cuisine from regions unrepresented in other metropolises in the rest of the country. The chef at Fonda del Sol has her grandmothers recipe for sweet and light tortillas to go with her otherworldly salsas. El Barco Mariscos specializes in Mexican seafood dishes. Mexican food is such an intrinsic part of Chicago cuisine that natives even have their own version of tamales which you can buy from many fast food shops (or the occasional itinerant vendor who caters to bar hoppers).

            Of course Puerto Ricans have made their own unique contribution to Chicago gastronomy with the jibarito: a sandwich made of roasted pork, garlic sauce and cheese sandwich between fried plantains. El Borinquen makes a good version as well as terrific pastelitos.

            NEW YORK, NY
            Where does one start in NYC? For me, it'd be a start with cuchifritos: deep-fried snacks one finds in Puerto Rican neighborhoods throughout the city. While bacalaitos, papas rellenas and pastelitos might be traditional, I can hardly resist the deepfried costillas de cerdo along with crispy shards of chicharon.

            Dominicans have certainly made their impression on New York and wherever you find mofongo, you can be certain there will be good Dominican cooking. Albert's Mofongo House would likely be the prime destination in this case. La Fonda Boricua would be the place to go for the PR version of mofongo, though you can check out El Malecon if you want another Dominican option that also sells killer Dominican roast chicken.

            Speaking of roast chicken, Peruvian chicken has become a very special treat for many people in the city. Pio Pio Chicken is my personal haunt.

            Jackson Heights and Elmhurst in Queens can provide you with an even richer array of foods from Columbian arepas to Uruguayan empanadas to Salvadoran pupusas and more.