A Taste Of The
By Brian Rafferty/
The outside is just as
colorful as I remembered it from my first visit to Huntington
a couple of years ago; the bright orange exterior made the
place stand out from the outside in just as vibrant a way
as the food at Fonda Coyoacan stood out behind the small bodega
that took up most of the first floor.
Today, Fonda and the bodega are both gone, but a delightful,
similarly themed restaurant has taken its place El
Picacho Catracho, which translates directly into Honduran
Open just three months now, this flavorful Honduran restaurant
creates new dishes that have helped retain the regulars from
Fonda while breathing new life into the stretch of Huntington
Station and opening its doors to a wider audience.
Vibrant colors fill the relatively empty eatery, with walls
painted in banana yellow, melon and an earthy red. The tables
are simple, as are the place settings a perfect mix
with the authentic peasant food that is as rich in flavor
as the country it hails from is in culture.
I started with fresh Nachos con frijoles fritos, queso mantequilla
($3); the chips were clearly homemade with a perfectly-sized
side of refried beans topped with sour cream. Just as I finished
the last of them, came the main dish of the day Pollo
frito con tajadas de Banano verde, repollo y chimol salsa
Essentially, the dish is fried chicken with sliced green plantains,
cabbage, a spiced relish and the delectable house sauce that
adds fruit and a kick to the dishes it accompanies.
The presentation was fantastic; starting at the bottom was
a layer of sautéed plantains, which was then covered
by the repollo (a cabbage slaw in multiple colors) followed
by the fried chicken; all of which is topped with the special
house sauce and a dollop of the chimol relish, which is similar
in theme to Mexican salsa, but with more cilantro and lemon.
The plantains, known to typically be firm and often served
fried, were softened by a sauté that brought out the
natural fruitiness and took away some of the green bananas
bitter flavor. The shredded cabbage slaw, with bits of purple
radish popping out from the green and white, had a delightful
sour tang. The chicken was meaty, with a crisp batter that
could withstand the drenching it got from the slaw below and
the sauce on top.
Add to all that the salsa, and youve got a typical Honduran
dish a wide range of flavors and textures that incorporate
protein, vegetable and starch all on one plate while having
a delightful combination of colors and dancing on different
taste buds all at once.
So stop in for some soup, a little Spanish TV or simply some
of the most authentic Honduran food this writer has tasted
in some time at El Picacho and enjoy.
Picacho Catracho Grill
1026 New York Avenue
Huntington Station, NY 11746
Hours: Lunch and dinner
(and late breakfast)
opens at 10 a.m. 7 days