Sunday, May 22, 2011

Brisas Del Caribe

After our visit to the Bronx Zoo two weekends ago, we went to Brisas Del Caribe located at Castle Hill in the Bronx.

Likened to a Chinese Take Out joint for cheap eats and that same sort of atmosphere, Brisas was full on Puerto Rican good time, homey meals.  The place was crowded - both the take out line and the sit down restaurant section.  H1 and I were ignored for the most part, attributing the lack of service to our lack of enough Spanish blood.

If not for Luuuiiissss, we would not be there because we would never get served, and if by some way we managed to be noticed, we would not have been able to order food with polite service.

Rushed, selective service aside, I cannot say the food was all spectacular but it certainly was more on the good side than bad.

That is to say, anyone who can provide me with a soursop shake is more than okay to me.

Ah the grainy texture of a soursop.  Awesome
It's true what they say, you do not know how good you have it until it's gone.  We had so many different types of trees of awesome fruits in Trinidad and I never truly appreciated it back then.  We had a bench built by Papa HOchie that sat under this tall, grand soursop tree.  We would spend our evenings sitting under there, and sometimes brewing tea from its leaves (the best!).  It's not that I did not appreciate a soursop back then but I have not had one in about 15 or so years and I got a little nuts when I saw this shake on the menu.

The shake itself could have used more soursop but that unforgettable flavour was present, and I was somewhat happy with it.

I cannot go any place without seeing an empanada on a menu and not trying it, so we ordered three of those which BH mostly ate and enjoyed.  He stuffed it with rice.  He's a tad on the crazy side.  Ha.

Right now, I feel hungry for Momma HOchieS' beef pies.  Those baked goodies were the best.  Those days are long gone but maybe I can convince her to make some sometime soon.... Hmmmmm.

We also ordered for our starter, some tostones.  They were hot and not too salty.  They were quite delicious but only one container of garlic sauce, peeps? Yeah, they did us dirty but that's okay.  We had enough food to not complain too much.

X, you hungry yet?
For our entrees of which we only ordered two because there's so much food in one that two people could share one platter, we got the pernil with yellow rice and beans.  It came with some very sweet, very yummy sweet plantains that were fried perfectly.  They were sufficiently soft and not overly-ripe.  I appreciate a good fried plantain being an artful fryer of the plantain myself.  Bwahaha.  I keed.  I've fried them on occasion but actually picking out a plantain, I leave that task to Momma HOchie and Papa HOchie.

Just one meal

Just in case anyone was wondering, yes, the pernil skin was amazing.  It was thin, crispy and had all the seasoning.  It was everything pork skin should be about.  The pernil itself was not bad but not being a fan of baked pork, I found it to be just okay.  The flavour did not penetrate throughout the meat and that's just disappointingly bland.

Luuuuuiiiisss ordered his favourite - some fried chicken with white rice and black beans.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with that food.  NOTHING.  The beans were seasoned great making them extremely tasty and the chicken... I tried piece without much expectation.  It was chicken breast fried, for one, which to me is not very exciting and I had every intention of just biting a piece and putting it down.

Naw, man, naw.

It was so crisp, flavourful, and steaming hot that I refused to let it go.  It may not look like much but if I had to go back here, I would get it again or maybe the fried pork pieces.  I have high hopes that the pork would be just as good if not better.

Chicken.  Does not look like much.  But it sure tastes like much.  Also pictured, some bread.
Just a taste.  And a good one at that.
We were full, as I am sure many of you are after reading this, but tostones, empanadas (okay, maybe not those) and pork aside, if there is flan on a menu... I NEED IT.

Unfortunately, there was also tres leches on the menu.

And a whole lot else but again, our stomachs were full of food.

If there's one thing humans need, it's extra stomachs.  Doing the best X trick I could, I tried to save a tiny pocket somewhere in my stomach by pushing food aside with my hands (it's a complicated process, and one you should not attempt without years of training by X) to make room for flan.

I did it! But after the long day at the Zoo, we had to take it to go.  So I ate it in the car.

Now please, look at the rich, amazing colour of this flan.  It was custardy (not cheese-cake like as the one we make) and had a good caramel taste and deep yellow colour going on.

It was beautiful.

Unconvincing picture number one.
Still need a little more convincing?
If that doesn't help convince you, we can no longer be friends.  There, I said it.
Okay, Okay.  One more picture because I want to look at it again.
The Tres Leches cake on the other hand was a serious let down.

It may look good in theory but our recipe lovingly borrowed from The Pioneer Woman's website is much better.  This one tasted like... an old time, kiss cake type of consistency covered with not enough sweet, sweet milk of the tree kinds.  It was gooey in texture and just a damned mess.

A messy Meh of a mess.  Meh, I say.
Brisas Del Caribe was an awesome time with simple but fulfilling, home-made flavours in the Bronx.

And the price?

Indeed.  It just makes things that much sweeter, yeah?

We'll go back some day, right H1?

Restaurant address and number for those of you who give a damn.
Currently listening to: "Grab the Mic" by Mindless Self Indulgence.


  1. I am SO HATING on you guys. Had I known this was going down I would have sent some serious overseas maljoux for each of you, well except BH, until he's older and can handle it. You need to massage your belly to the left and downward to open your second belly. With time, HOs, with time.
    Btw, if you ever bother to visit me in this place, we make soursop punch on the in every 2 weeks. 15 dumplings loves it. delish. And no bloggie boo, soursop is not so rancid (wv: suranci), but it is an acquired taste.

  2. I didn't know it was going down myself until I got there and started eating. Don't be hating on me, Betch.

    I am happy to report that I have mastered the art of the second belly. You have trained me well.

    Soursop in Bim, you say. Yes, but what about the almighty caimate? You know it is the best fruit in the world! I want one =(

    TD5, when do they bear again? I will come back just to eat one! That and some Julie Mangoes. Please co-ordinate even if the seasons are off. You make the trees bear fruit at the same time!

  3. And by the way Bloggie Boo, just shut it!

  4. Chicharron de pollo is the best PR dish ever! And empanadas! Ugh. I'm so hungry right now. ::Sigh:: There's no good latino food out here, just half way decent tex-mex (which isn't even really authentic Mexican food). I hate Oregon cuisine, really I do.
    P.S my capcha word...

    Preeril...apparently you're blog is also taunting me (but w/ a bad lisp/accent)

  5. Beetchie, the blog is an asshole like that.

    I don't know how we getting back here, B., but we'll try to convince Luuuiiissss somehow when you come around. bwahaha.

    wv: koothout


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