After finishing my first day I decided try the first place. After a short ride I arrived at "Rincon Criollo" in the Corona, Queens section of New York City. The restaurant in the middle of a Hispanic neighborhood and is surrounded by numerous restaurants and shops. Guy visited Rincon Criollo due to recommendation of his friend and fellow Celebrity Chef Carl Ruiz, who also won on Guy's Grocery Games. Rincon Criollo is a traditional Cuban restaurant and is decorated with numerous family photos that made me feel I was dining in a large family room.
|Rincon Criollo, a Cuban Restaurant in the Corona Queens section of NYC|
|A very homey place with lots of family photos on the walls|
I was seated at a small table in the middle of the dining room and talked to the server a few minutes and when he saw my book he asked if I wanted the same meal featured on the show and I did! I ordered the Ropa Vieja, which is shredded flank steak in tomato sauce. On the side I got white rice, black beans and sweet fried plantains, along with a basket of flat Cuban pressed bread. The meal came out quickly and each item was served on separate plates making it easy for groups of diners to try several dishes. The meal was great! mixing the items together really is the way to do it. The sauce had huge flavor but was not spicy at all. I practically inhaled the meal, it was delicious!
|Rincon Criollo's Ropa Vieja|
|Classic Cuban Pressed Bread|
The sweetness of the plantains made it a nice almost dessert-like ending to the meal. I asked my server if the owner who had coked with Guy was in but he had just opened a second location in the Long Island town of Huntington Station and spends most of his time there, which is near his home; My sever signed my book and I left happy and very full!
The other place in the area is closed Monday through Wednesday so I had to wait a few days to try it. After work on Thursday I headed out again to the Corona Queens area. "Tortilleria Nixtamal" is a true Mexican restaurant in the middle of a city neighborhood. The restaurant is decorated in bright yellow, red, orange and green colors. The restaurant is an open air place with about ten tables.
|A True Mexican restaurant in the middle of a Queens neighborhood|
|Colorful interior of Tortilleria Nixtamal|
I was greeted and seated by a very friendly server who seated me a small table in the middle of the restaurant. I looked over the menu and decided to try a Steak Quesadilla with a side of Mexican Rice and refried beans. As I waited for the meal I talked with my server and he was really surprised that I had found the restaurant on Triple D. A few minute later the meal arrived and the Quesadilla was served differently that I had ever had in the past. It came with two different types of hot sauces a spicy green sauce and a very spicy red sauce that was served in a very cool Yin Yang bowl. The steak in the quesadilla was cooked to medium rare and very flavorful, with a kick of spice. I really enjoyed the entire meal and especially the friendly service.
|Guy Ate Here displayed in the wall at the entrance|
|Mexican Rice and Refried Beans side|
|The Yin and Yang of sauces; Green - Hot; Red - Very Hot|
Before leaving I asked my server if he could sign my book signed and after telling him about my travels, he gladly did. I left and headed back to the hotel, my brief visit to the Big Apple ending with my Triple D count at 655!