Now that we have mathematic confirmation that New York is indeed getting pricier, Gothamist's thoughts have turned to cheap eats in our own neighborhood (in this Gothamist's case, Park Slope, Brooklyn). While it sometimes seems as if every week there's a new cafe or restaurant that's opened in the 'hood, Gothamist has found that an oldie-but-goodie place like Coco Roco shouldn't be forgotten.
With a wide-ranging Peruvian menu, Coco Roco offers everything from tamales, empanadas, and plantains to ceviche, fried seafood, and poultry and meats. Gothamist is particularly fond of Coco Roco's rotisserie chicken, which in the half portion only costs $4.95. Well-marinated, juicy, tender, and flavorful, it's definitely some of the most reliably delicious chicken we've ever found in New York, at any price.
We also like the Peruvian take on the tamale (or "tamalito," as Coco Roco diminutizes it on its menu), which is a looser, creamier interpretation that what you find in Mexican cuisine. Attractively presented in an ends-tied, top-open corn husk wrapper, the tamalito ($6.25) arrives on your table with chicken piled on top of the yummy corn masa filling.
And for those who thought feta cheese was only for Greek food, Gothamist suggests the boiled potato with feta sauce appetizer ($5.95). We didn't know quite what to expect when we ordered it, but we enjoyed it. The sharpness of feta gives the mellow potato a bit of a kick. Whether this is authentic Peruvian cuisine or no, we still like it.
The empanadas are decent if not memorable, and the fried mixed seafood entree ($10.95) is pretty good, but we hold our strongest recommendation for the lime-coconut flan and several of the other desserts on offer, such as the banana fritters and the (highly cinnamon-y) rice pudding (all desserts cost $5).
The portions of the desserts are big enough for sharing and the flan especially satisfies any sweet tooth with its extra creamy, extra dense, yet not-too-eggy composition. The lime and coconut flavors of this flan add a twist that is a welcome change. Too often variations on traditional desserts leave Gothamist longing for the original all the more, but in this case, the lime and coconut are subtle additions that do not distract from the inherent flan qualities that we know and love.
So Gothamist wants to know: where's your current favorite for cheap eats in your neighborhood and why?
Coco Roco, 392 5th Ave., (between 6th & 7th Sts.); phone: (718) 965-3376.