Things That Matter

20 Delicious Hidden NY Latino Food Gems You Need to Try

New York City is known for its vibrant culture — after all, it’s the city that never sleeps. The night life, Broadway shows, museums, but the best part about visiting New York? The food! Specifically, the Latin food gems.

Not only are these restaurants serving up delicious plates of the most incredible Latino dishes, but they’re also bettering their neighborhoods and giving back. Which is something the world totally needs right now.

Here are 7 mouth-watering NY spots totally serving up pure goodness.

1. Hecho En Dumbo

CREDIT: Yelp / Allison Y

What started out as a pop-up Mexican joint in Dumbo, Brooklyn has now flourished into a full restaurant, thanks to Chef Danny Mena. This place will satisfy all of your small-plate cravings, from Gorditas de Chicharron Prensado to Salbutes de Pollo, there is something for everyone.

2. Because they feature delicious foods.

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Along with several other New York restaurants, Hecho En Dumbo donated food that went to about 500 soup kitchens and community food programs in the five NYC boroughs.

3.The best part about this eclectic Mexican restaurant?

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City Harvest helps to feed the almost 1.4 million New York residents that face starvation every single year. 

4. The fact that it was part of City Harvest’s food rescue donation.

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It’s pretty amazing to see a business journey  from a mere pop up dream of Mexican cuisine to helping feed people in need.

5. Oaxaca Taqueria

CREDIT: Oaxaca Taqueria / Instagram

Talk about a restaurant that encourages community with its patrons – Oaxaca Taqueria has several locations in New York that are absolutely dedicated to spreading the goodness, by bringing New Yorkers authentic food with the flavors and culture of Oaxaca.

6. What’s unique about this restaurant is that they are dedicated to cultivating a community.

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Which is why they have an entire merchandise section on their website. Yup, you can totally rock a Oaxaca Taqueria T-shirt that reps a place which prides itself in being locally sourced.

7. So not only will you look fashionable…

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but you can feel good about eating food that is positive for our environment and earth.

8. FONDA

CREDIT: FONDA / Instagram

Ask anyone about FONDA in New York and they’re sure to all say the same thing: GO!

9. Roberto Santibañez is the genius behind FONDA (located in Park Slope, East Village, and Chelsea)…

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And his dishes such as Taquitos San Andres, or the sublime Tostadas de Carne are worth visiting. The team at FONDA also does something incredible: they founded the Mexican Heirloom Corn Initiative, aka “Farm to Fonda.”

10. All of FONDA’s tortillas are made with 100% heirloom corn from family farms in Mexico, GMO-free, all natural, all organic.

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The initiative is all about bring good to the hood, by supporting independent Mexican farmers, and also providing FONDA’s patrons with healthy, sustainable, delicious food.

11. Chavela’s

CREDIT: Chavela’s / Instagram

Chavela’s is a staple to Brooklyn cuisine, and its founder is the definition of the American Dream. Arturo Leonar has an inspirational journey; he was born and raised in Mexico City and moved to New York when he was just a young man. 

12. He worked his way up and worked hard.

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In 2007, he and his wife, Desiree, opened up a tiny little restaurant and worked every single aspect of it. Just them hustling hard, no team, 

12. In 2011 he upgraded to a bigger space and Chavela’s began to take off.

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It’s a place that brings family and friends together, and for a moment you completely forget you’re in Brooklyn at all. That’s the beauty of Chavela’s – with its bright colors, exquisite menu, and excellent service, Leonar has created a place that feels like home to so many. Which is why Chavela’s totally brings the good to the Brooklyn hood – its positivity radiates out of its doors.

13. La Esquina NYC

CREDIT: La Esquina / Instagram

It’s hard not to fall in love with La Esquina, the New York joint that takes Mexican Street food to a whole other level.

14. It’s a mysterious place, one with a secret underground restaurant…

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And a menu of vibrant tacos that makes anyone’s mouth water (bistec, tinga de pollo, and carnitas tacos, anyone?)

15. A cool aspect about La Esquina is that it offers live Latin music to it’s patrons, a huge proponent of bringing Mexican culture to NYC.

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Not only that, but they have an “art” section on their website…any restaurant that supports the arts is a place worth dining and giving your money to. They keep Mexican culture and history alive by submerging customers in a rich, authentic experience — which is an excellent way to educate the community.

16. El Atoradero Brooklyn

Credit: El Atoradero Brooklyn / Instagram

A Latino restaurant owned and operated by a woman is so much inspo! Denisse Lina Chavez’s journey to becoming a restaurant owner is truly an inspiration, and she’s the mastermind behind this awesome place that started out as a street bodega. Chavez’s specialty is her blue-corn tortillas, shipping in a custom masa machine from Jalisco to nixtamilize them.

17. The menu is out of this world – boasting dishes like chorizo tacos and burritos, to enchiladas de mole poblano con queso.

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The most impressive thing about this place? Chavez herself. She went from her street bodega, to El Atoradero, which went out of business. But she didn’t give up – she kept working, and then opened the flourishing El Atoradero Brooklyn. Every time you eat at this place, you’ll be reminded that hard work DOES pay off, to keep going, work hard, and to pursue what fulfills you.

18. The Black Ant NYC

CREDIT: The Black Ant / Instagram

Who knew food that involved insects could be so delicious? That’s right – The Black Ant NYC, uses ants, chapulines, and numerous other insect ingredients to serve up tasty dishes.

19. There’s the enchilada de conejo, a braised rabbit and queso fresco specialty, as well as the croquetas de chapulin, whose main ingredient is grasshoppers.

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The masterminds behind it all? Jorge Guzman, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, and chef Mario Hernandez.

20. Their mission is to bring the history of Mexico and Quetzalcoatl to the modern Mexican cuisine of New York City.

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Again, another place bringing history and education to residents – which only helps better the community in which it thrives.


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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Things That Matter

A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Updated March 10, 2021.

Police brutality is a civil rights violation that has long affected the Black community as well as other minority groups. While the issue has been highlighted extensively by these communities it seems that it’s only been very recently that the general public has developed concern over the issue. This is despite the fact that in so many ways police brutality has not only deeply harmed communities but also sparked major political and social movements such as the civil rights movement of the 1960s and anti-war demonstrations. So much so in fact, the United States has developed an ill-famed reputation for cases of police brutality. Particularly when it comes to the police’s mistreatments and murders of minors like Nolan Davis, Cameron Tillman, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Over the weekend, an incident in Rochester, New York brought attention to the issue once again after body camera showed officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl.

The incident which took place last Friday showed officers brutally restraining a little girl after responding to a call for “family trouble.”

The Rochester Police Department in New York released body camera footage Sunday showing officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl while responding to a call for “family trouble.”

In two disturbing videos, the little girl can be screaming for her father as officers attempt to restrain her. “You’re acting like a child,” a male officer yells at her in the video. “I am a child,” she screams in reply.

“I’m gonna pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to,” a woman officer warns the girl while attempting to put her feet inside of the police car.

“This is your last chance. Otherwise pepper spray is going in your eyeballs,” the officer adds.

The girl begged the officers not to spray her before they did.

Once pepper-sprayed, she cried, “It went in my eyes, it went in my eyes.” The child and her family, nor any of the officers involved in the incident have yet to be identified.

“I’m not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK,” Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan of Rochester said at a press conference Sunday. “It’s not. I don’t see that is who we are as a department.”

This incident isn’t the first for the Rochester Police.

The police department’s top officials resigned last September after protests broke out over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after Rochester officers put a hood over his head. Prude’s face had been pinned to the ground by police.

Speaking about the incident Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren said that the pepper spray incident was “not something any of us should want to justify.”

Warren said watching the video of the young girl reminded her of her own daughter. “I have a 10-year-old daughter. So she’s a child. She’s a baby,” Warren explained. “And I can tell you that this video, as a mother, is not anything that you want to see. I saw my baby’s face in her face.”

According to Warren, she has asked for the police chief to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation in relation to the incident. She also noted that she welcomed a review from the police accountability board.

The incident reportedly occurred after officers responding to a report of “family trouble” around 3:21 p.m last Friday. Police reported to the area and were alerted that the 9-year-old girl was “upset” and “suicidal” and had indicated that she “wanted to kill herself and that she wanted to kill her mom.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

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Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

Culture

Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2020 has been, well, the year from hell. But, like with any terrible events, there has been a few silver linings. More flexible work schedules. More alone time with family members.

And now, the mother of all silver linings: hands-free Cholula dispensers.

No, we’re not kidding. Earlier this month, the cult-favorite hot sauce brand announced that they have partnered with appliance tech company simplehuman to develop a hands-free dispenser for restaurants. Per Cholula, the invention was made in response to the need for a safer way to dispense hot sauce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When restaurant operators began removing Cholula bottles from tabletops amid the pandemic, we needed to develop a solution that could adapt to their new environment,” said Cholula’s CEO, Maura Mottolese, in a press release. “The collaboration between simplehuman and Cholula combines the best in technology and taste to revolutionize the condiment station to meet the needs of the customer and the foodservice industry in the ever-changing landscape that is 2020.”

The invention is–dare we say–genius.

Various video demonstrations of the gadget show that a user need only to hover the hand over the Cholula dispenser to be gifted with a glorious stream of hot sauce coming out of its little faucet.

Additionally, the company revealed that the Cholula dispensers would be available for private commercial purchase. According to Cholula, the Touch-Free dispensers will be available for a limited time on Cholula’s website–just in time for the holidays.

“Cholula diehard consumers will have a rare opportunity to purchase a limited number of Cholula x simplehuman Touch-Free Dispensers, the essential gift for contactless holiday meals, starting December 1, 2020 at www.Cholula.com/handsfree,” wrote the hot sauce brand in a press release.

“Optimized for the best saucing experience, the flash sale promotion, priced at $130, includes a Cholula x simplehuman Touch-Free Dispenser PLUS a half-gallon jug of Cholula Original and free shipping.”

Cholula revealed that 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which is a “nonprofit formed by notable chefs like Tom Colicchio to save independent restaurants affected by COVID-19.”

Naturally, people are hyped that Cholula is selling the hands-free hot sauce dispenser to customers.

This is the type of gift that keeps on giving.

Honestly, “hot sauce innovation” is exactly the type of innovation we need coming out of 2020.

TBH, we deserve good things right now. Thank you Cholula.

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