Last week I got to enjoy two meals with new friend A-Tooch from Foodies at Work. The first was a blogger dinner at Fives in The Peninsula Hotel which I tweeted about (the photos are in our Flickr) and the second was an invite out to Elmhurst to eat at Patacon Pisao. The first time I'd come across Patacon was at last year's Vendys, and I'd had them in my mind ever since.
Patacon Pisao got its start back in 2005 as a truck in Inwood, the same truck that can be found today on 202nd Street from 7pm to 6am! The Elmhurst shop was originally just for cooking the food, but luckily for daytime masses they turned it into a sit-down location. Our host that evening was Jonathan, the son of the owner, and he was super generous to us-he allowed us to taste the best dishes off the menu and there were even some doggy bags! We started off with empanadas and tequeño (cheese fingers). Yes, cheese fingers literally means fried cheese wrapped in dough. You know it was delicious.
This was the beef patacon arepa: shredded beef with queso frito, lettuce, tomato, and sauce sandwiched together by two fried plantain slices corn meal. It was rated one of the best sandwiches in New York. Take advantage of your wet naps after eating this because you will eat every bite and be quite the mess. (Ed: the patacon is super awesome too.)
A Patacon original is the Tachucho, a wrap that includes white American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sauce. We received ours with their juicy and tender shredded beef. This sandwich was invented by Jonathan's mother when she saw the types of sandwiches Americans were eating. It's a lighter option to the patacon (ed: and arepa!), but let's be serious, this is all Venezuelan comfort food.
You'll want to save some room for dessert. Brownie and I are both fans of their Tres Leches-it's soaked almost to the point of a cake pudding and fantastically sweet. But I was surprised to really like the Quesillo (flan) as well. Typically, I find the jiggly texture off-putting, but theirs is more solid and full of caramel goodness.
And be sure to try the Chicha, a rice pudding horchata. I may stop by just to get this a few times during the summer.