If you live on the Lower East Side, you’re probably always on the lookout for spots where you can get a relatively cheap (under $10) lunch. Dominican grocery store El Colmado on Houston should be on your radar. You can stop by to pick up cans of Campbell soup, eggs, and any flavor of Gatorade—but the Dominican buffet is the real draw.
Their menu changes daily, but you’ll pretty much always be able to find chicharrón, roasted pork, and rotisserie chicken that you can add to bowls of mangu, yellow rice, and sweet plantains. Even the most packed containers of fall-apart pork shoulder, stewed red beans, and rice won’t run you more than $10. Make sure to ask for some tangy green sauce to go with any of the meat, as the zippiness readily cuts through all of the fat and balances everything out.
There are a ton of Dominican and Latin American places around the LES, like Cibao, Dominican Cravings in Essex Market, and Sandy’s Coffee Shop, but we should all be grateful to have another option. The portions are so generous that you could probably stretch any serving into two meals, but when you need something really filling that will power you through the rest of the day, El Colmado is a perfect lunch move.