Big Apple Bites: La Esquina Criolla in Queens

Posted on April 11, 2012

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Disclaimer: I’m not a native New Yorker, I’m actually a transplant.  If I live here any longer my roots are seriously going to start growing deep.  So, anticipating that I wont live here forever, I’ve decided to capture all the amazing experiences this Big Apple has to offer. So “Big Apple Bites” are short bites worth sharing on how New York City helps me learn, grow, appreciate and enjoy life.

Part of the YWA culture is to eat together for dinner once a month – family style.  When you like what you do and you like the people you work with, it’s easy to spend 8-12 hours a day together.  I see my coworkers more than anyone in my life.  Of course we all have our own families, but it would be ridiculous to call our small team synergetically composed to operate like a factory of a million workers, anything less than family.  We are a tight ship, and a crew that at all hours of the day has the “Open” for business light on.  That just means, when we turn it off for our monthly dinner, we really make the most of it.  This month we had the experience of travelling out of the Manhattan norm to the borough of Queens and experience some authentic Argentine meat!

>>Warning<< This place is NOT for vegetarians or people with weak stomachs.  I think we only had 1 vegetable dish (salad) to be exact.  Everything was either meat, meat, or Malbec wine.

La Esquina Criolla iwas definitely out of place.  Well not for the neighborhood in Queens, but for the actual quality they provided; it was like you were eating in Argentina in downtown Buenos Aires or something to that effect.  I wont go into the details of all the different dishes (because there were many) but I will highlight the ones that I loved.

1) Skirt Steak – OMG! It was absolutely huge, tasty, juicy and completely made perfectly.  If you’re looking for a great piece of meat (without NYC prices), this skirt is definitely the way to go.

2) Sausage – I didn’t try the Blood Sausauge, but the regular sausage was very tasty.  It wasn’t dry, nor was it too oily.  It had great flavor.

3) Pigs Feet – I myself am Mexican.  In the Mexican culture there is something called cueritos, which are pig skins cooked in vinegar.  At La Esquina Criolla they had something similar and it’s awesome!  I have been trying to find a place that sells a good batch of fresh cueritos, but have not had great luck.  When I tried the pigs feet, it tasted like what I had been looking for all this time!  It was like the Mexican cueritos, just feet.  Man o Man! They were just delicious… if you’re into the feet kinda thing.

4) Lengua / Tongue – I’m not sure how it was marinated, but it came in thin slices with a salsa topping on it.  Very tasty, not rubbery.  It was definitely well made.

I thought their Empanadas were good, but the icing on the cake that put absolutely everything else second was their Green Sauce.  I have no idea what it had, or how they made it, but this sauce wasn’t spicy and was just a gigantic ball of flavor.  I will travel back to Queens just for more… it was so darn delicious.  I hope they bottle it, because if they haven’t, they really should look into it.

Overall, this place was delicious and delicious.  I was not a fancy place, it actually looked like a kitchenette… but then you taste the food and it had you wanting to eat your fingers off in order to savor every last bit. This is definitely a place I will go back to, especially for the steak.

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Every month there’s a new ‘take away’ for me.  This month I’ve looked at how it has taken years and years of sewing seeds before the office has developed a synergy like what we have in the office today.  It’s not easy to find personalities that mesh well professionally, and are green enough to want to grow, but also are capable of having fun.  My bosses mentioned how eating together one can really see a persons true colors… its the most genuine thing to do, eat.  They explained, how we treat our family at the dinner table has much to say about how we treat people in our life.  I am lucky to be in a place where we all look out for making sure everyones plate is always full and everyone is having a great time.  At the end of the day, that type of awareness for the well being of whole person translates into the office environment, and into the character of those you work with and/or for.  I’m already looking forward to May!!!

Salud!

Emilia

 

 

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Posted in: Big Apple Bites