I consider myself a foodie and although I haven’t been to even a quarter of the restaurants in NYC, I try to visit a new place each time I plan to eat out. Of course if a place is good I definitely go back!
A little while ago my bestie invited me out to El Viejo Yayo restaurant and I was happy to go. I tend to check out the menu before I ever go anywhere and it seemed promising– reasonably priced food, diverse options; I was sold.
El Viejo Yayo has Latin American cuisine– which is of course relatively broad–mainly focused on Puerto Rican and Dominican cuisine. It has a prime location, steps away from the Barclay’s Center, on 5th Ave between Dean & Bergen and is near a ton of trains and buses.
The curb appeal isn’t breathtaking and the décor isn’t super special. It’s definitely a more casual spot but you wouldn’t feel out of place if you dressed up to come here. They have a lot of space and even a downstairs party area. We went on a Saturday night both times, the first time it wasn’t packed but the second time there was a ton of people, that might have been due to the weather change.
The first time around it passed my taste test with flying colors as I ordered the Bistec de Palomilla Encebollado a lo Yayo aka marinated steak and onions with sweet plantains
and arroz (rice) con gandules (with peas). When they said marinated they meant it! My taste buds were pleasantly greeted with all types of amazing flavor. EVERYTHING tasted great down to the peas. My only critique is the food plating, it wasn’t terrible but definitely could’ve been better; regardless the taste was definitely not lacking.
How much was my meal do you ask? $14! Super cheap for an all around delicious meal. I definitely recommend this spot, it exceeded my expectations food wise. Oh did I mention their drink menu has much to choose from with cocktails as low as $7?! For the area that’s an extremely great price, especially considering the drink potency; if you’re into pineapples you should try their specialty “Yayo Cocktail”!
Have you ever had a restaurant please you above your expectations? Let me know below!