How To Eat Your Way Through Latin America
A culinary tour of Latinicity, by country
Just how big is Latinicity?
Twenty-two-thousand square feet. Twelve food stalls. A mini-marketplace. A full restaurant and bar.
If you’re of a certain adventurous ilk and also love to stuff your face, you’ll enjoy a visit to this Latin American food hall, which opened on the third floor of Block 37 this past weekend to a mob of slack-jawed comelones.
If you have no idea what the hubbub is about and you’re just looking to elevate your Loop lunch game with delicious tacos … this is your place, too.
Many will tell you this is the Latin version of Eataly. We say yes, but allow us to manage your expectations by saying it’s nothing close in terms of scope or size. What you’re looking at is a gorgeous food court in a mall, with stalls hawking a smorgasbord of regional grub from tortas to tacos, from fresh ceviche to expertly grilled meats.
It is undoubtedly still a gastronome’s dream. So we went ahead and dogeared five dishes from five different countries you’ve gotta try. Take a look at all the menus here. Leave the passport at home.
The Dish: Lomo Saltado
Country of Origin: Peru
Where You’ll Find It: Chaufu Wok
Why You Want It: What you may not know about Peru is the large influx of Chinese immigrants in the 1800s. This is Peru’s answer to the stir-fry: a hefty portion of your choice of starch (get the Cantonese egg noodle), hangar steak, onion, cilantro and crispy fries.
The Dish: Cubano Torta
Country of Origin: Cuba
Where You’ll Find It: Tortas & Cocas
Why You Want It: No doubt Cubans love their pork. And ham. And cheese and mustard. Latinicity’s cubano is a crisp, tasty brick of all those things, churched up by a slab of habañero mustard.
The Dish: Choripan
Country of Origin: Argentina
Where You’ll Find It: Burguesa
Why You Want It: A mutant hot dog by way of Argentina. Grilled sausage served up on brioche-like bread with garlic aioli and green herb chimichurri. Also try the Chili Con Carne Burger, a Black Angus beef patty with tortilla chips, sour cream and pickled jalapeño.
The Dish: Longaniza Colombiana
Country of Origin: Colombia
Where You’ll Find It: Saladero Latin Grill
Why You Want It: Latinicity is no stranger to the art of grilled meats. Our favorite is this flavorful, fatty pork sausage that comes with a side of fiery sweet/savory red chilli sauce. Pro tip: makes for good leftovers.
The Dish: Tacos!
Country of Origin: Mexico
Where You’ll Find It: Machefe Taqueria
Why You Want It: Possibly best tacos downtown. Real deal stuff, and it’s a build-your-own bar. For our money, nothing beats classic cilantro and onion atop pork carnitas. But hey, feel free to go to town.