What a fucking weird location for a reataurant. I can understand the brewery being there, as this area is an office park or business park. I suppose people hit this joint for lunch while they’re at work nearby.
The place is like something out of Williamsburg Brooklyn. The decor is corrugated metal, reclaimed wood, filament bulb lighting and industrial meat facility chic.
The food is great. It’s a small menu, essentially a burger joint with fancy apps and lots of different whiskey and bourbon to sample.
We tried a flight of flavored whiskey – one was just a blend, then coconut, chocolate macadamia nut, and coffee flavored whiskeys followed. Macadamia nut was my favorite. Sweet and strong.
We also sampled some of their mixology style cocktails. My wife had an awesome tequila and pho broth based drink, called “Cannibalistic,” and I had a pineapple, lime and Maker’s called “Butcher Town.” Good shit.
I ordered the bacon jam burger. This was a potent and powerful burger. The blue cheese didn’t overpower the meat, nor did the bacon, but altogether it was super heavy. I liked it, but I could only put down half (I ate the rest a few days later).
My wife had a poorly worded sandwich that was called banh mi, but was really more like a pulled pork sandwich. It had pork belly, pulled pork and really nice fois gras butter, but none of the pickled veggies, fish sauce or fresh leafy cilantro that you usually associate with the banh mi flavor profile. In short, it was still good, but not banh mi.
Along with the drinks, I think the best part of this place is the pork rind chicharones that come with each entree instead of French fries. These morsels were real pig skin fried up to warm, golden, crispy goodness. Amazing.
My wife received a box of these fuckers as a gift from her cousin. These guys are pretty good. They have a lightly sweet and slightly spicy seasoning to them. They’re very airy and crisp, and really shine when you add some lime juice to them. Good product.
Cuchifritos Frituras, aka 188 Bakery Cuchifritos, was recently featured on Anthony Bourdain’s newest CNN food show, and then written up on Grub Street as a result.
Yanked directly from Wiki with no shame whatsoever:
“In New York City, vendors advertising cuchifritos are particularly notable because they tend to make use of colorful external lighting and big, flashy signs that quickly catch the eyes of passersby. These establishments have dotted Puerto Rican and Dominican areas of New York City for the past 50 years, particularly Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, South Bronx, Brooklyn, and other primarily Puerto Rican and Dominican neighborhoods.”
After seeing that it was pretty much meat heaven, I decided that I needed to go and try this shit out ASAP. Check out the wall o’ Dominican cuisine:
Not knowing what any of it meant, we pretty much just followed the Grub Street outline but made sure to get some of the nasty bits as well. My wife and I were pretty much shot from walking around all day, two stops away up in the Bronx, at a Japanese exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens. I was also wiped out because the day before I had run a half marathon and then proceeded to walk around for about 20 miles to and from Gotham West Market and for several hours at the NYC Wine & Food Festival.
Needless to say, we stopped in after the park and picked up a sack of food to go – we were anxious to get home, and it was hot, stuffy and crowded in that bustling little pig joint.
But holy shit, were we happy when we got home…
I’m getting right at the titties here – the chicharrones. We ordered both pork and chicken. There’s LOTS of meat on these babies, and the skin is perfectly fried to crisp deliciousness. The portions are rather big too for $6.
We also grabbed some alcapurrias – sweet, tangy pouch stuffed with meat and spices. These were incredibly tasty. I almost forgot to take a pic of the inside before destroying it.
Last, the cuchifritos nasty bits. Blood sausage, pig ears, tail, tongue, skin… you name it… plus plantains. My wife likes this kind of offal shit more than I do usually, but I DO get down on it sometimes, especially if it’s done right. Here, they offer a gravy to go with it, but we opted for no gravy – as if we are watching our diet when eating this stuff! Haha!
When you eat in the restaurant, which I did on a second trip, you can utilize their awesome hot sauce and spicy pickled veggies.
The acids definitely help cut the fats down. Excellent food.
188 BAKERY CUCHIFRITOS (CUCHIFRITOS FRITURAS)
158 E. 188th St. #1
Bronx, NY 10468