Monday, September 21, 2009

Run to Dominican

On a recent Saturday, I gathered three friends and went on a mission. The first part of the mission was to get in a 20 mile run for our marathon training. With new sneakers and an overcast misting sky (my favorite running weather!), we took off from midtown Manhattan up to and around Central Park and back over to the West Side. From there, we journeyed up the West Side Highway running path towards the George Washington Bridge. Knowing that the bridge was our turn-around, it was a wonderful sight to see it getting closer and closer. Just as we had almost arrived, the sun came out. Under the bridge, we stopped for a stretch by the Little Red Lighthouse and then made our way south towards our mission goal... Dominican Food!
Arriving outside of El Malecon Restaurant on Amsterdam and 97th St., we took a few minutes to stretch and cool down. Luckily, my smart running friend had brought along a few wet wipes and we made attempts to clean up a bit. Then it was time to enter!

After we entered and waited a minute or two, we seated ourselves. As it turned out, the service wasn't the draw to this establishment. I ordered Arroz con Pollo ($13) and a Cafe con Leche, my friends ordered sandwiches, and we requested a plate of maduros (sweet plantains) for the table. The Cafe con Leche rivals any coffee that
I've had in Manhattan. With a bit of added sugar and $1.50 price tag, this would be my regular coffee stop if I lived nearby. When my entree arrived, we all was enormous. There was enough food to feed all four of us and they had honored my request for white meat only. I began to attack this monster portion but as I ate and ate, it didn't seem to make a dent. With a bit of hot sauce, this dish was delicious. The chicken was moist and the rice was a nice consistency. My friends received their sandwiches (Cuban and Steak versions) and were raving too. The maduros however, weren't sweet and were the only dish that we agreed could improve.

Overall, this place was a hit. With huge portions, delicious coffee, reasonable prices, and 7 AM-12AM hours of operation... we should all run to El Malecon!

Click here for the running route.

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