I’ve stopped by El Rinconcito a number of times on the way home from work for their Latin-style roast chicken (pollo al homo), which although can be a little dry at times, is extremely budget-friendly at $4.50 for a half a chicken. Yesterday, however, I swung by at noon and not only were the lunch specials equally friendly on the wallet, but also mighty tasty.
During lunchtime, $6 gets you a heaping plate or an aluminum container filled to the brim with rice, a choice of beans, and a choice of one of the prepared meat dishes. The meat dishes change daily, and luckily for me, I was there on Tuesday, the day they have pata de cerdo guisada, stewed pigs’ feet (pictured above). I love soft, sticky, gelatinous trotters like nothing else, and the version at El Rinconcito was exactly that, in addition to being very well-seasoned and saucy. The stew is tomato-based but a little more acid helps liven it up. If you get the food to-go, splash on some hot sauce before you make an exit. Also, watch out for a few errant hairs on the feet. It happens, what can I say?
For the less adventurous, there’s also pollo guisado (available on a daily basis), dark chicken very heavy on the onion and garlic, stewed into submission. Falling off the bone, the meat was tender and flavorful, but as usual, the BF didn’t appreciate the dark meat or the fact that the marrow had seeped into the flesh. If you have the same issues, order the roast chicken instead.
Everyone else, you’ll be happy to know, goat stew is available Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays, and oxtail on Thursdays.
408 E 10th St (b/n Ave C & D; map)
New York, NY 10009