543 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 1001
Ideal for: Family Gathering, Friends Gathering.
I know, the name is weird. Favela literally means slum in Brazilian-Portuguese, and it is referred to the low-income areas of the country. The name of the restaurant is a combination of its cuisine: Brazilian, Cuban and in my opinion, Latin in general.
Yet, Favela Cubana is completely the opposite of its name. It is located only a few blocks away from Washington Square Park and across the street from Dō. The place is decorated with drums as seats for the bar, wooden tables and chairs, and cool artwork.
But the decoration and location of the place were not what brought me to it. No, it was the food. See, even if each country has specific foods and variations, Latino food is Latino food. I was craving it and headed towards Favela Cubana. My friend and I decided to share a bunch of side orders and I was in heaven.
We started with Pao de Queijo (cheese bread that is typical of Brazil) and let me tell you it brought so many memories. When I was growing up, my nanny would bring me this donut shaped crackers that were pao de queijo flavored. Although the ones in Favela Cubana were better -well, they were the real deal- I couldn’t help but remember the snacks I loved growing up. The plate came with six small bites of dough with cheese, and I personally like the ones that are harder than the fluffy ones. It was cheesy without being too cheesy, and hot. Very hot.
We also shared tostones (twice-fried plantains) with Favela sauce that tasted exactly like guasacaca (Venezuelan sauce that has a avocado, parsley, and garlic). The tostones are different from the ones I am used to that are round and crunchy. The ones at Favela were long, soft in the inside and a little crunchy on the outside. They were so good, we went back another day just for the tostones.
Of course, we couldn’t skip the guacamole with homemade chips. The guacamole was both chunky and soft, easy to spread on the tostones and corn chips. The best part is that they give you not only one, but two plates of chips to eat your guacamole with!
Lastly, we shared Salmao (salmon) with the same green sauce from the tostones, asparagus, and potatoes. The salmon was so fresh and juicy, I swear I couldn’t get enough.
Jewtina Tips: Can’t stress it enough, get the pao de queijo!