There’s a reason why this place is always packed. Aside from the fact that this neighborhood is crowded with restaurants that are either weird, subpar, too expensive for lunch or just plain not so good, this Cuban joint provides a hearty, tasty meal at decent prices. Rib-busting, spicy and piled high good. Granted, it’s mostly a takeout joint with some tables jammed in the back–and you’ll have to push half of the midtown office population out of the way to get to them. The menu is relatively straight forward, offering a couple daily specials and then some standard meats, which come with a couple sides. I went real traditional and got the grilled chicken with rice and beans, eating in house at one of the crammed tables with some co-workers. The food came fast, hot and in vast quantities. Presentation isn’t the name of the game here, as my chicken was pretty much laid on top of a giant stack of grains and legumes sluiced with the black bean juice. We even got some fried sweet plantains and fried yucca that just added to my joy and busted belt loops. We subsequently had a party in the office catered by Tina’s that was a big hit. They sent enough food to feed an army and left us feeling like conquering heroes. [MF]
23 W 56th St.