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Nov 10, 2013 01:12 PM

When Thirst Overcomes Jefferson's Advised Track: Raw Shell Fish and Beer in the Heights

The power of sign:

I should have bolted to McDonald's to suck down coffee and read the the Chinese Newspaper I had recently purchased, but a sign on the window of a seafood store with a bar counter, a Dominican establishment (Chinese owned), just pulled me in, and I did not get out until late. The sign read Coors $3, or something to this affect.

"An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will." Thomas Jefferson's statement had to wait, until my belly was full with raw fish.

Like an Irish or English individual (pun please take no offense), I went straight for the pub, but for this seasoned nomadic American, that meant wandering into Calle 191 Pescaderia Seafood bar and shop Washington Heights.

Celle 191 is at 191 Street and Saint Nicholas in Washington Heights, is just near the 191 subway station for the number one train.

This is where one can get fresh seafood of all sorts, for the fridge or for your oven or stove top.

But, venture into this fine establishment on a Friday or Saturday evening, hours after 12 midnight, and this seafood shop takes on an entirely different form.

The place is often packed with party goers, enroute to bars, and clubs, or just fresh from them. Lively place. I took a friend there some time ago, after I made the discovery that it functions nicely as a place to EAT FRESHLY IN HOUSE MADE EMPANADAS. On an off night I sat enjoying the seafood delights, while one of the friendly staff, was preparing the empanadas, from freshly made dough.

Of course seafood, cooked and raw! can be ordered inside, served to you in a nice atmosphere. One can eat, or socialize at the diner style stools, and one will be in sync with the Latin music and Buchata.

Fresh seafood, and beer at 3.00 a bottle to sit and enjoy the Latin tunes, enjoy the Latin and Mexican staff who are more than happy to serve you.

It is one option that may be an inspiring change to other typical places to eat raw shell fish, and baked fresh salmon. I enjoy the Grand Central Oyster Bar, but a cultural gravitational pull often takes me to Calle 191 Pescaderia in Washington heights.

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  1. Thanks for interesting reading. I venture up to Washington Heights and Inwood for good Dominican fare, probably once a month. I've never been to Calle 191 Pescaderia, but it sounds like a place I would like to check out. I found it strange that you mention Mexican staff, I assumed most Latin restaurants up there were all Dominican staff.
    Also, based on your old posts,( many with Chinese characters) I always thought you were Chinese. Are you ? your photo doesn't appear to be so. I never knew if you were male or female, but now I know that too. Thanks for posting the photo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      It was in May when I took a friend there. A Friday night. The place was packed, but streaming and packed, with party goers enroute, or getting food after or before the bar/club. Some, like my friend and I, were stationary for a few hours.

      That offered plenty of raw clams, and oysters, beer (modela/corona), and a few items like a delicious huge slab of oven baked salmon..or was it grilled... etc.

      All with mingling with many people, and the friendly yet busy staff. Half the price than other places, yet so fresh and delicious. 24/7, makes their meals affordable even during hours that are less festive, if one desires so.

      Dominican, you say, well, it reminds me regions that are mainly Russian, with Georgian, Moldova, Ukraine all in the mix.