As restaurant prices in Harlem continue to soar, finding a inexpensive restaurant meal becomes most important. And if the inexpensive food is not only delicious but also interesting, and maybe even outside your previous dining experience, that’s the best.Here is a collection of those restaurants in Harlem, NY.
1. La Savane
You can dine sumptuously on mafe, a Senegalese stew of lamb in a creamy peanut sauce, served with an expanse of polished white rice topped with a steamed Scotch bonnet pepper, for extra spiciness. Not hot enough? You can also ask for the chile paste known as “pima.” Also you can enjoy a grilled fish — topped with a wonderful dice of vegetables flavored, in the Franco-African manner, with mustard. Alongside a plate of attieke, the signal starch of the Ivory Coast, consisting of a manioc porridge served with a pepper puree and, somewhat oddly, a bouillon cube. A third dish is a mixed meat palm-oil sauce served with a loaf of plantain foutou. Altogether a delicious meal, washed down with ginger juice and bright red bissap, which is a punch made of hibiscus blossoms and pineapple juice. The meal cost about $45 for three.
La Savane, 239 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10026, 646-484-5293
2. Rai Rai Ken
East Village ramen veteran Rai Rai Ken has amazed everyone by finally sprouting its first branch, in the Manhattanville just south of City College. Priced at only $8 and up — cheap by ramen standards — selections skew doctrinaire, with broths based on soy, miso, and curry, and no Tokyo-style salt ramen or fancy-pants pork bone tonkotsu. The shoyu ramen is quite fine, a light broth with singed slices of pork belly, fish cake, bamboo shoots, scallions, and a crackling sheet of nori – yum.
Rai Rai Ken, 1467 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10027, 917.639-3342, http://www.eatrairaikennyc.com/
This Ecuadorian restaurant occupies a double-wide premises, with a formal dining room on one side and a juice bar, café, and carryout on the other. The ceviches here are super-sized, and great for warmer weather. Get the ceviche mixto con concha negra, which features black clams, the signature bivalves of Ecuador’s mangrove shoreline. Meal-size soups are another specialty, including weekend-only caldo de bola, which features one massive stuffed dumpling the size of a softball. You should take for granted that the roast pork and llapingachos (cheesy potato pancakes) will be fab-u-lous.
Ecuatoriana, 1685 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10031, 212.491.4626
Via NY Eater