In the mood for Latin cuisine, my eclectic palate led me to El Viejo Yayo Restaurant in Park Slope. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you’re well aware of my ordering habits by now. I generally select a traditional appetizer, reflective of the country and cuisine of the week, then an entrée, and a beverage. This week I decided to go with a salad, entrée, side dish, AND beverage. My choices? Avocado salad, Stew Chicken with Rice and Peas, Fried Green Plantains and Tamarind Juice.
Each item was separately packaged, so I picked up my meal, took it home and began to dig in. I scooped out a generous portion of rice and peas, mounted it on a large plate and surrounded it with green plantains. I added the stew chicken on top. The stew chicken was succulent and so tender, the heavily marinated white meat delicately slipped off the bone each time my fork picked up a medium, bite sized morsel. The chef added a few pieces of potato and thinly sliced carrots for flavor.
The rice and peas were reddish brown and seasoned with what I believe to be sazon. I tried both the chicken and rice by itself, then together, before picking up a few plantains and mixing them with the dish. The combination was heavenly and filling.
I was a bit surprised by both the avocado salad and the tamarind juice. Half a sliced avocado sat in the middle of a large bed of mixed greens and a few slices of tomato. The salad was topped with thinly sliced red onions. I ordered oil and vinegar online, but changed my dressing selection to Italian when I got to the restaurant. Expecting your basic Kraft or Paul Newman’s salad dressing, I was taken aback by the robust taste of fresh spices and garlic. The salad was crisp and delicious. A little skeptical about the tamarind juice that I allowed my coworker to talk me into (thanks, again Elvin!), I sipped it with caution. It was sweet and refreshing with just the right amount of tamarind (similar to a ginger beverage, minus the taste of ginger, but with just enough kick) and ice.
The meal was a hit, but once again my eyes were bigger than my stomach. This was partly because I just can’t seem to order only one or two items when I know I have to present my readers with a fair and balanced review and partly because foodies are greedy. Since both statements are valid and true, next week I will use SeamlessWeb’s Pickup Paydays promotion (valid in Manhattan). Earn points when you order pickup online! Once you earn 50 points, SeamlessWeb pays $5.00 towards your next meal! The promotion is valid through September 3rd. I can’t wait to rack up points. Speaking of points, I forgot to grade this meal. It gets a definite B+.
Check out El Viejo Yayo’s menu and feel free to give us recommendations for future orders in the comments.