Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

March 25, 2010

Chef's Night Off

Dominican Chicken Dinner

Sandy is a Dominican family-owned, small restaurant in Spanish Harlem that roasts the juiciest, most succulent chicken.

“Why do you bother to go there?” asks George. “I’m sure they deliver.”

I tell him that being there is half of the fun. I love the energy of the place with every server pitching in, refilling steaming trays with tostones, plantains, empanadas, blood sausages; removing chicken from the roasting racks. They chop up roasted chicken and pork butts with a machete with the energy of a prize fighter. Only a few speak English. Today’s special, I notice, is beef tripe soup and pork feet.

I order one rotisserie chicken, one madura--the soft and sticky, caramelized plantain adored by George--and a small order of rice and beans. Occasionally, I also get a Cubano, the Cuban super sandwich, with roasted pork, ham, salami, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, packed into a hero role, smeared with maoy. The Cubano reminds George of Cuba where he lived when he was a teenager.

The bill varies from $12.50. to $17. depending who rings it up.

When it’s time to serve dinner, I cut the chicken into serving pieces and heat tonight’s portions in the microwave oven for 1 minute. There’s usually enough chicken left for another meal. The rice could easily serve a party of four. Since I don’t’ like plantains, I have a salad.


Rotisserie Chicken
Rice and Beans
Green Salad
Wine: Bogle ineyards, Merlot 2008
Dessert: Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Sandy (212) 348-8654 (Spanish Harlem)
2nd Ave.& 116 St.

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