If you’re not already familiar with El Rinconcito, their excellent Dominican food will ruin your relationship with other neighborhood places you rely on for excellent takeout under $20. This East 10th Street cafe has been in Alphabet City for over 20 years, and although they’re not currently offering any outdoor or indoor dining, you should stop by for takeout and order one of their mofongo platters. We especially like the namesake rinconcito mofongo, which comes with heaps of longaniza (bright-red Dominican sausage), pernil, strips of pan-fried mozzarella cheese, and pork cracklings mixed into a pile of mild green plantains. As a requisite side or appetizer, get a pastelito stuffed with pulled chicken.
El Riconcito sells ten different kinds of mofongo, and you can specify whether you want it made with sweet plantains, green plantains, or cassava. If you eat pork, and you want to see the sheer power of El Riconcito’s ability to make delicious meat, get the namesake mofongo riconcito with about four different kinds of pork as well as pan-fried mozzarella cheese. It’s like a party platter for one, and you may consider it as a possible birthday cake replacement next year.
The pulled chicken pastelito at El Riconcito costs less than two dollars. When you order it, the person behind the counter will ask how many you want. That’s because they know that you’re going to want more than one, and they’re right. It’s the perfect snack or spontaneous present for a friend.
The tres leches cake at El Riconcito are from a bakery in West New York called Cecilia Bakery. Do we care that El Riconcito doesn’t make their own cake? Of course not. When you eat something this moist and sweet, you will briefly forget that other food groups exist.