Rincon Melania – Part 1

Instagram Post 10/29/2018

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A celebration for my friend Nigel Sielegar honoring the anniversary of the inauguration of his firm, Corse Design Factory, 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:

[1] 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.
[2] Pulpo a la Parilla – I’m a sucker for grilled octopus and they prepare it perfectly here. Is it a coincidence that Corse’s logo is an octopus?
[3] 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.

More to come from Rincón Melania….
 
 

Cevichochos

Instagram Post 8/22/2018

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Ceviche isn’t always about seafood. This Ecuadorian ceviche de chochos (lupini beans), known colloquially as cevichochos, was served up by a street vendor near Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 104-11 37th Ave in Corona, Queens. The beans are combined with tomatoes, maiz tostado (toasted corn), red onion, and cilantro and marinated in a citrus blend. Often a vegetarian dish, this version included bits of fried pork (see second photo), a happy addition. Typically, it’s garnished with a crunchy topping – here it’s chifles, fried plantain.
 
 

Los Helados de Salcedo

Instagram Post 3/8/2018

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Thought you might need a palate cleanser after all that rich food I continually post! While wandering around Jackson Heights, a sign in the window of a little shop featuring goods from Ecuador caught my eye. Upon entering Ecuador Records Variedades at 92-11 37th Ave and making my way past piles of hand crafted clay pots and other charming imports, I headed straight to the freezer case and selected the ice cream pop depicted on the sign that sported distinct colorful layers of “mora, naranjilla y taxo con centro liquido de jalea de mora, guyaba”.

The Ecuadorian frozen confection sold under the name “Los Helados de Salcedo” (after the city, I suspect) was surprisingly good. Not only was it sweet and refreshing, but the flavors were distinct and richer than I anticipated.

Translation: Helados = ice creams. Mora = blackberry. Naranjilla, literally “little orange”, although unrelated (I’ve seen it as naranjillo and frequently as lulo), is a fruit with a tart, tropical, quasi-citrusy flavor that can be found locally either canned, jarred, or frozen. Taxo is also known as banana passionfruit; it’s the oblong shaped fruit pictured on the wrapper. Guyaba = guava. I’m not certain that I really detected the liquid center of blackberry jelly; greedily consuming the delectable pop, I may not have given it a fair chance.