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6.9
NYC

Macondo

Perfect For: Quick Eats

A "casual latino" eatery, Macondo claims its food is "Freestyle Latin". I don't like the word freestyle. It's usually just a different way of saying "I'm making sh*t up." It also makes me think of freestyle walking (not a sport), and every moron in college who owned an Eminem album and freestyle rapped at parties. Needless to say, I was not encouraged by their choice of words on the website. Luckily, Macondo was a good experience, minus a few stumbles. The restaurant is huge and lively on most nights, with a ton of big tables and some bar seats in front of the open kitchen. On my most recent visit (a slow night), I watched the kitchen staff spend twenty minutes experimenting with a blow torch on various dishes, only one of which was a brulee. Freestyle, man. Nobody knows what's going to happen next!

Stick to the tacos, the bocadillos, and pretty much anything with pork or beef and you're in business. I am going to go out on a limb and guess you've never eaten Mofongo, but you need to. A few things on the menu were disappointing, but it's a big menu with lots to choose from and they mix up some solid drinks which helps the cause. Overall we're still partial to Yerba Buena for South of the Border cravings in the area, but we'll happily hit Macondo for a quick one next time we're in the neighborhood for a show.

Food Rundown:

Mofongo
Had I not seen a segment on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives that featured Mofongo, I would have assumed it was some sort of grilled monkey. Luckily, Guy Fieri stuffs his face on television for the sake of my personal education. The dish is apparently Puerto Rican in origin, and consists of fried green plantains mashed up and tossed with pork. It looks like a brown mess on the plate, but it tastes bueno. Order it.

Mango Corvina
This is a shrimp and mango ceviche with a nice spicy kick, but overall was just ok.

Skate Raya
Excellent little skate fish tacos with a white soft cheese. I didn't expect to like these as much as I did and we went back in for a second order.

Tuna Bonita
This is one of three "flatbread" dishes on the menu. Here we go with the freestyling. I expected the tuna to be of the raw or seared variety, but instead this looks and tastes like it came out of the can. Pass, especially for fifteen bones.

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