Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we’ll check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
Latin American food is not very well represented in Sheepshead Bay, and that’s a shame. It could be because of the mistaken notion that Latin American food is all “hot and spicy,” and “hot and spicy” is far removed from the palettes of most our residents. While some can be, most Latino food is rather tame. While every nation in Latin America has it’s own variation, this dish falls squarely in the mild category.
At Restaurant Sabor Latino, Carne Guisada, Spanish for meat with gravy, is one of their daily lunch specials and is served with your choice of white rice and beans, yellow rice and beans or peas and rice all for $5.99. Add another 22 cents for a can of soda.
The “carne” in this stew is large chunks of folk tender beef swimming in a thick brown gravy, flavored with tomatoes, garlic and other spices, and accompanied by large chunks of carrots and potatoes. This hearty, bone-warming stew reminded me of the stews of mi abuelita that greeted us whenever we visited her in the winter months. But then again, closing my eyes and tuning out the Spanish music, it also reminded me of the stews of my Irish grandmother. While Carne Guisada may be a Latino dish, every nation has a version.
Hell, how often does a dish do that; bring you back to your grandmother’s cooking? Just go.
Restaurant Sabor Latino, 3715 Nostrand Avenue, (718) 332-8191.