Eat & DrinkNew York

Treks, Transfers and La Fonda Boricua

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When a friend who won’t even go downstairs to the bodega to get food when he’s hungry suggests spending almost an hour on the subway to get lunch from one of his favorite restaurants in Spanish Harlem, you go. You transfer 3 times without even looking at a menu first, which in this case is mostly because they don’t have them. And then, after eating, you wonder when you will do it again. That, my friends, is the pull power of La Fonda Boricua.

Food Network junkies might recognize the spot from one of Bobby Flay’s Throwdowns, in which he tried to trump Boricua’s signature dish the Arroz Con Pollo (chicken with rice). He didn’t win. Well-seasoned and served in a heap with a side of beans and plantains, the Arroz is undoubtedly what keeps people coming back. In fact, I didn’t see many plates around the room without it… but again, when you don’t have a menu that leads to a lot of pointing and “I’ll have what he’s having” crap shoots.

For starters, options are pretty much salad or soup and for vegetarians, well, options are pretty much the starters. The food at around $12 for an entree was reasonable, but Mojitos at $9 and sugary Margaritas at $8 seemed steep in comparison. Worth the trek, but better to wait and grab a 40 to sip while belly rubbing in Central Park after.

La Fonda Boricua
169 E. 106th Street (btn Lexington and Third Aves)

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Jill S.

Jill S.

Jill is an Ohio native and Boston University graduate who refuses to stop saying "pop" and wearing her Red Sox gear despite being heckled for doing so since moving to Brooklyn. She's been honing her thrifty ways since doing that silly thing people talk about when they ignore reason to follow their hearts and chose a career in the fulfilling but faltering music industry. She earns her beer money as a publicist and writer, and spends her spare time cooking, biking, and trying to decide if she's ready to get a cat.