Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cheap New York lunch

On a mission downtown the other day I found myself near the bottom of 1st Avenue. It was just after lunchtime and I was ravenous. There was only one thing to do: pop into La Puebla, a Mexican joint I used to patronize once a week with my co workers when I worked for years just south of it. We'd call the order in and pick it up twenty minutes later. 

I always ordered the chicken and spinach burrito, with hot green sauce and sour cream. Never tried anything else. The bits of chicken were crispy at the edges, the spinach copious and still bright green, only just-cooked, the hot sauce zinging through my sinuses.

I last ate here in 2009. I saw no reason to change my order.

I was the the only person in the storefront shop, and listened while the lady cook sizzled my pieces of shredded chicken breast in the kitchen. I sat at a window counter and watched 1st Avenue and its East Village people go by.

My $8.95 burrito arrived under a pillow of sour cream, tucked up like it was ready for bed. Something got lost in translation of my hot sauce was not the green kind, but was still hot enough and good enough to satisfy the unforgiving standards of Memory.  

This is not a light lunch. The chicken breast - crispy at the edges, from the pan, the spinach, the rice and beans, the cream, and the cutting sauce. It gives you the sniffles in the best way. 

If you find yourself in the hood, go. I speak only for this burrito, never having tried anything else.

If you want beer, you can buy it nearby and bring it to one of the tables. But I recommend sitting at the bar counter in the window, to watch the zoo go by.


  1. Sounds yummy. I was as was only a subway ride away!

  2. That would be "I wish I was only a subway ride away." Those dogone fingers can't keep up with my mind!

  3. So this isn't a complete non sequitur in that it is about food. I made your brown bread recipe last night and of course had a couple of slices with butter. It was good. But it was even better this afternoon piled, as you suggested with some cheddar (no chutney in the house). In fact, it was the perfect post-swim snack. Excellent! And I will have to try that burrito the next time I'm in NYC.

  4. I am that way with my favorite restaurants: once I decide what I like, that's what I order, come Hell or high water. Malfatti, Vince?

  5. catching up with the blog, as I am with many things.
    Metro North will take you very directly to the New York Botanical Garden (aka Bronx Botanical Garden) as well as to the Hudson Valley.

    Glad himself is settling down as you and Vince also settle in.

    go well,

  6. Hi Marie, I hope you're settling in to your new place. Change can be hard (I should know considering we've moved 5 times in the past 7 years) but I'm sure in the end, it will be well worth it. Coincidentally, our family moved into our "forever home" in late August so I'll be able to garden again.

    P.S. Can't wait to see you what you will do to the new terrace!

  7. My kind of cheap eats. No pressure. I envy you your lunch.


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.