Sorry I've been M.I.A. but my camera broke and am still waiting for a new one. And who the heck wants to read a food blog with no food pics? I sure as hell don't. Which is why I was missing for a while. And although my camera phone sucks, really sucks, I decided to say screw it and proceed to take some pics and write about today's late lunch.
My co-worker/friend and I - let's call her Señorita N. - were very hungry after a long day of baking and making sweets at work. We were craving some down home, Puerto Rican or Caribbean food. The saltier, the better. No más sugar. I suggested La Casita Blanca, a never fail option. She mentioned La Tasca de Yiyo. La who? Never heard of it and of course that alone makes it interesting. What kind of food is it, Señorita N? Cuban. Sold! Sign me up!
So off we went to Loiza Street and arrived at La Tasca de Yiyo. Place was empty except one table, a four top. We sat down, perused the extensive menu with classic Cuban, Rican, & Latin items and our eyes glazed over at the possibilities. Picadillo Cubano. Yum. Mariquitas. Yummers. Vaca Frita. OMFG you had me at Vaca Frita.
Señorita N ordered the Tasajo, which is like Ropa Vieja, but in a tomatoey, criollo-style-mojo kind of way. Her sides were white rice, red beans, and Yuca en Mojo. I went for my all-time Cuban favorite, Vaca Frita. Again, like Ropa Vieja, but it's basically sauteed on a hot pan until nice and crispy, yet still juicy and yummy, and served with some grilled or cooked onions. I order a side of Congri (hold me I'm fainting) and fried Batata (sweet potato). Here's some more Cuban food info. so you can learn.
So then Mr. Salesman Twist My Arm Server started going on about the Mariquitas, thinly sliced, freshly homemade, fried green plantains, served with fresh garlic. Dude. No fair. Our resolve was weak so we succumbed and got the Mariquitas.
And so we waited. Interestingly enough Señorita N observed the guys in the kitchen putting our, supposedly fresh Mariquitas in the microwave. Hmm... He brought them over and Señorita N said, "That was fast!" And of course Mr. Server kind of stuttered, said something of them having had them pre-sliced, and walked away. They were delicious though. Crispy, salty, garlicky. Very, very yummy.
Then our food arrived. It looked divine. Portions are ridiculous. Each plate is enough for two. We doved in. Señorita N's Tasajo was very tasty and moist. The Yuca en Mojo was nicely seasoned and soft and tender.
Señorita N is so proper, look at how well she holds her fork. So elegant. Her mom would be proud.
My Congri (swoon) was DELICIOSO! But unfortunately, my Vaca Frita was FRIGID. It was cooler than room temp. which was a disappointment. So the usually crispy, yet still moist, Vaca Frita was cold and dry. UGH. And it seemed more so given the Congri was piping hot. So I asked them to please reheat it in the microwave. No love lost. Interesting how forgiving one can be when hungry. ;-)
Señorita N did say the food is better at night, when the place is fuller. Which is understood given we got there at the dead hour of 3:30 PM. But the flavors were pleasant, so I can't wait to go back again. The Mariquitas, 2 entrees and sodas were $29 and change including tax. So not bad at all. Especially considering the portions. We both took half of our entrees home.
Hey honey, look, I made you dinner!
The servers were nice and sweet, so there's another positive. Next time I will hopefully have my new camera handy so I can take more and BETTER pics. 14 MP baby! Until then, feel free to visit La Tasca de Yiyo for some yummy Cuban fare at some economical prices. And with the current state of the economy, $12 for an entree enough for 2 is a pretty good deal indeed.
La Tasca de Yiyo
Open every day 11am thru 10pm, except Sundays when they close @ 6pm. Or 8pm? I think 6pm. Whatever, just call. :o)