A line snakes out the door every afternoon at Harlem’s Tropical Grill & Restaurant, a Dominican cafe with a beguiling steam table. The odor of oregano and garlic hits you like a wet hand the minute you wander in.
At $5, the quarter-chicken combo shown below is an amazing deal–the spice-rubbed bird’s sienna skin pulls right off to reveal flesh of perfect oiliness, and the attendant rice and beans (pick white or yellow for the former, black or pink for the latter) are so copious that you’ll probably never finish.
For an additional dollar on the $6 special, you can also have salad and a beverage of your choice, or if you really want to splurge, wash it down with a President beer. The roast pork pernil, fried kingfish, and beef stew are also estimable. And Tropical is no mere carryout–there’s a commodious seat-yourself dining room attached. 2145 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, 212-531-0233
Take a cooling dip in the beans by clicking on the picture