Cheap Lunch! In which we find good eats in cheap places.
El Nuevo Sabor Latino
620 4th Avenue, Brooklyn
$7 whole roast chicken (so about $3.50 a serving)
$7 gigantic plate of pernil, plus rice and beans (again, $3.50 a serving, easily)
I walked by El Nuevo Sabor Latino about a hundred times before I really noticed it. It’s on a drab stretch of 4th Avenue, right at the Prospect Avenue R subway stop. The tiny Dominican lunch counter with a burgundy awning doesn’t look like anything much. The fanciest thing about it is the enormous flat-screen TV that plays Yankees games in high-def.
Once, on a whim, I stopped in and ordered the roast chicken— $7 gets you the whole bird, hacked into wings, thigh, breast. I’m not a fan of any old rotisserie chicken, but this one is totally sublime, dripping garlicky juices and covered in salty, burnished skin.
The pernil comes with slabs of pork skin that are as crisp as a potato chip, and big hunks of lucious, porky meat, deeply browned in spots. Squeeze on the lime and try to control yourself.
The rice and beans are pretty mediocre, but I, for one, don’t really care. This is a place that knows its way around meat and garlic. There’s also a selection of Dominican breakfast items, which I haven’t tried, like mashed green plantain with eggs, cheese and salami, or cassava with sausage.
You’re probably not in this neighborhood for lunch, (called Green-wood Heights, or South Park Slope, your pick), but pick up a chicken and it’ll feed you for two days, or at least be dinner for two. (Unless you are a total pig, like me, in which case the pernil will be gone before your boyfriend even knows you bought it.)
Roast chicken, $7 per bird