Monday, May 2, 2011

A Message Just for You

I imagine everyone who walks by one of James De La Vega's impromptu works of art thinks that the message speaks just to them.

Lunch at Cafe Ollin

Small Mexican joints line the streets of East Harlem and many are worth stopping in for a torta or taco to go, but Cafe Ollin is a place where you can and should sit and stay for awhile. Walking inside the nondescript restaurant you'll no-doubt immediately notice the bright blue painted walls. The walls don't look jarring, as you might imagine, instead they are fun and festive and welcoming, as is the overall vibe of the place. Let that festive feeling dictate your beverage choice and pick out one of the brightly colored drinks from the case in the back. There's no alcohol here, but you can get your fill of Mexican style fruit and even Sangria flavored colas as well as traditional soft drinks. Now it's time to start snacking, and you can't go wrong with a crispy tostada to start. For your main I'd suggest trying a torta or cemitas, they come filled with traditional ingredients like beef, chicken and chorizo, or you can go more experimental with ham, pork and pineapple or cactus and potatoes. I've been working my way down the sandwich choices on the menu and haven't been disappointed yet.

Have you been to Cafe Ollin? What's your favorite sandwich?

Cafe Ollin
339 East 108 Street
New York, N.Y. 10029
(212) 828-3644