El Castillo de Jagua
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Island flavors in the Lower East Side
New York has the biggest concentration of Dominicans living outside of the Dominican Republic. Washington Heights is pretty much a mini Santo Domingo, but where does the culture spread outside of that zone? The Lower East Side started out as a big hub for the Latino community and even now that there are boutique hotels and fancy bars popping up in the area there are still some low key places that have survived the gentrification process. Castillo de Jagua is one of my go-to’s when I don’t want to spend a lot of money and I need familiar island flavors. Pictured above you see the pepper steak combo. This is the kind of stuff I grew up on! The $10 plate comes with fried green plantains, rice & beans, and a mini salad. Is it the best Dominican restaurant in town? No. But this is about having options. Friendly service and very cold Dominican beers are a highlight. If you’re a snob you won’t be into the decor at all (there is plastic covering the tables), but if you are open to trying something new for incredibly good prices then you just found your next Friday night hangout.
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