Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lunch @ La Caridad 78


This afternoon I enjoyed a delicious, filling, and inexpensive lunch at La Caridad 78 on the Upper West Side. I just moved away from the Upper West Side after ten years and have wanted to try this place. I finally went in for lunch and was not disappointed. The menu does not blend Cuban and Chinese foods, as I had originally thought, but presents both types of food separately on the menu. The restaurant was opened in the sixties by Chinese entrepreneurs who emigrated to Cuba and subsequently fled Castro’s revolution.

Having just eaten chinese food from from Grand Sichuan International on Friday night, I opted for the Cuban side of the menu. I started with the fried plantains which were sweet, caramelly, crispy. Then all the serious food arrived: chicken livers with onions and peppers, scrambled eggs with shrimp, corn tamale with pork. The chicken livers are sauteed and obviously had some soy sauce added - they were crispy, soft, rich, creamy and were perfect with the onions and peppers. The scrambled eggs with shrimp, which are also cooked with onion and green peppers, were a knock out. Cooked perfectly and just fantastic. The corn tamale came out last, even though it was ordered as an appetizer, but I didn't care, because it was fresh out of the steamer. Perfect little tasty nuggets of pork and with a little hot sauce added, it was wonderful. The eggs and the chicken livers came with beans (red or black) and rice (white or yellow).

Cheap, tons of food, delicious, interesting menu options, chinese waiters that looks like they have been there for decades - this place was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Why did it take me over tens years to finally try it out?

5 comments:

Gigi said...

I have walked past this place about a million times (rough estimate) and often thought I should stop in. My time in NYC is always too brief and I have developed my favorites in the neighborhood (such as Turkuaz and of course Barney Greengrass) that I find myself wanting to revisit those rather then try something new. But my next trip is a few weeks away so I may finally have to make time!

Nick Bumstead said...

It is definitely worth a try - quality, quantity, variety - all good reasons to pop in for a visit.

Gigi said...

Would you place the Cuban items as being better, worse or on par with Cafe Con Leche (if you have ever been)?

Nick Bumstead said...

I asked a friend who recommends Cafe Con Leche for breakfast/brunch and really likes La Caridad 78 for lunch.

Gigi said...

Thank you for the tip.
BTW if you have not had it yourself the rum cake at Con Leche is to die for!