Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Molino Rojo Restaurant: Bronxite Approved Dominican Cuisine

Woke up mid day today to find myself tasting my first snowflake as I started my trek out into the powdery, frosty abyss towards the A train heading to Manhattan.

frosty abyss
First Snow Day

As soon as I woke up and heard the soft sound of snow falling, I looked forward to it immensely, to go out, get lost in an uncharted snow ridden city and eat some hearty, NY-centric food.

bronx snow
The Bronx

Within an hour, I found myself on the complete other side of town. I ended up alongside Yankee Stadium, both the old and the new one. The snowflakes in The Bronx were thicker and fell with more force. Unlike L.A, my warm breath would linger high in the air as I breathed out, like the thick smoke of a Cuban Cigar. I was to meet a resident reader of mine who knew a thing or two about Dominican Republic food, she's been eating the stuff her whole life.

deep knees
Knee Deep

Fortunately the place was right off the Yankee Stadium exit off the B-D-4 trains so not much walking was involved

Molino Rojo Restaurant
Snowy Facade: El Molino Rojo

Walking in to the warm fluorescent heating bulbs, I will admit to being a little worried. As soon as we were seated, the menu bared spanish words that I'd never heard in my life before, what the hell was a Pionono?

foreign spanish
Foreign Spanish

I was excited to finally try Dominican food since I haven't heard of any in L.A, Maybe tasting Sancocho, a Dominican namesake heavy stew with 23 + ingredients. But apparently they only made it on certain days, today they had made Guisado de Rabito, their version of Oxtail soup--decision was made, easy as that.

I was about to have my 2nd dinner in a couple of hours but couldn't help myself to trying a couple of new things.

glutsters temporary pictures 065
Pastel en Hoja: Dominican Tamales?

It arrived to the table in less than two minutes, already unwrapped. At first taste, well cooked starches of all backgrounds filled my mouth: green plantains, Yucca Chunks, mature Squash, a Taro-like Yautia vegetable, Garbanzo, Pinto Beans. All enveloping chunks of pork butt with 1/4 inch of skin still on. The texture was more like a homecooked Oaxacan Tamale, polenta like. Each bite shimmered with fat but the taste was an acquired one.

Morcilla: Mmmm...Pigs Blood

Along with many other offal's standard in the Dominican diet, my Bronx docent insisted that we get the Morcilla, a mealy textured, metallic tasting sausage of pork blood, onions and broken rice.

guisado de rabito
Guisado de Rabito: Que Sazon!

The main dish had landed. Braised Oxtail in all its gelatinous joy, cooked with that signature savoriness known as Sazon, a Dominican flavor blend of spices and herbs applied to foods to give it a certain oomph effect. It was not the most tender I've had.

squashed bread
Squashed Rolls: All The Better to Sop You With!

The bread that was served was squashed, or 'pressed', making it all the better to sop up all that lustrous oxtail juice!
rice n beans
Arroz Con Gandules: All The Better to Eat You With!

The order comes with either steamed white rice or Arroz Amarillo (Yellow Rice), short-grain rice fried with a different variety of Sazon and Pigeon Peas, what I think the offspring will taste like if a lentil bean knocked up a pea. Its also served with Pinto Beans cooked with Pork Shoulder and more of that Sazon! Usually a side, my guest was surprised to see my Frijolero instincts lick the bowl clean first--

Tomorrow it was to be Soul Food in Harlem...

Food for two $13

Molino Rojo Restaurant
101 East 161st St.
Bronx, NY 10451


MyLastBite said...

"Unlike L.A, my warm breath would linger high in the air as I breathed out, like the thick smoke of a Cuban Cigar" (LOVE IT).

The Morcilla looks awesome!!

Food GPS said...

"Powdery, frosty abyss" - Nice. All that food only cost $13? Amazing. Any chance you can smuggle a few links of morcilla?

Anonymous said...

Good stuff - when do we get to hear about Harlem?

burumun said...

Snooow, I haven't seen snow in so so long.
I love tamales, I want to try this one - sounds sweeter than usual bcs of the squash?

Aaron said...

Caribbean nations seem to do oxtail really well. My experiences with Jamaican and Cuban oxtail dishes have all been superb. I'll have to make my way up to the Bronx sometime. I guess it's not that far for me.

and this blog said...

Welcome to NYC!!!!
I see you were greeted by lots of snow already...

We eat morcilla in Argentina, I wonder if they are the same as these... yummy

This place looks good... specially for $13!!! too bad the only time i go to the Bronx is to the NY Botanical Garden =( just soo far!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your blog!!!.... but don't like the tittle of this one... as a Dominicana myself; saying "Boricua Approved Dominican Food" is like me saying "Salvadorean Approved Mexican Food"... they're not the same country nor are they even on the same island... With that said, I love the content!

glutster said...

anonymous: sorry, you are right. the guest that took me was half Dominican and half Puerto Rican and didn't really think about this so thank you for pointing that out :)