Rincon Melania

When I write about restaurants on Instagram, they’re usually brief takes accompanied by a photo or two. (You can see my feed right here on ethnojunkie.com by selecting the “Instagram” category from my home page – no signup required.) But because of Instagram’s character count limitations, it’s often necessary to break up a review into several parts. This one originally appeared as three posts, published on October 29 and December 14 and 16, 2018.

A celebration for a friend brought us to Rincón Melania, 35-19 Queens Blvd in Sunnyside. This is one of those restaurants where everything I tasted was so good, without exception, that it’s essential that I return before long. Three starters we enjoyed:

(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)

From the Appetizers section of the menu, Bolón Mixto de Queso y Chicharrón. Classic Ecuadorian cuisine crafted from green plantains, cheese and chicharrones. One picture is worth a thousand words.

Pulpo a la Parilla – I’m a sucker for grilled octopus and they prepare it perfectly here.

And from the Ceviches division, Mariscos Mixto – mixed seafood cocktail with shrimp and fish, tostones encompassing the catch. Some Ecuadorians may tell you that they have they market cornered on ceviche; if this is any example, no puedo discutir con eso.

Seco de Chivo, Ecuadorian goat stew, definitely made me happy: served with Arroz Amarillo (yellow rice) and an avocado wink 😉 plus a Maduro half (sweet plantain) smiling 🙂 at me. Nice when your food likes you back.

Tender, succulent, Pernil accompanied by yapingachos (or llapingachos), pan fried potato pancakes, and two members of the corn family in contrasting preparations: boiled mote and crispy maiz tostado made from cancha or chulpe, sometimes referred to as corn nuts.

Fritada (not to be confused with frittata – no eggs here) con Mote, a homestyle Ecuadorian staple that starts with pork that’s boiled with seasonings then fried in pork fat. (Mmmm. Pork fat.) Shown here with classical accompaniments, maduro (sweet plantain), yapingachos (or llapingachos – pan fried potato pancakes) and two corn cronies: boiled mote and crispy maiz tostado (corn nuts). Delicious.

Guatitas, literally “little bellies” since it’s bits of tripe, is another traditional Ecuadorian dish: tripe stewed with potatoes in a light, delicately flavored peanut sauce, maduro and arroz amarillo with avocado on the side.

I can’t decide which one of all Melania’s dishes I tasted that day would Be Best!
Rincón Melania is located at 35-19 Queens Blvd in Sunnyside, Queens.