El Quinqué (The Oil Lamp)

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El Quinqué is a restaurant off of Alcala (#901), a block away from Jardin Conzatti. It doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of ambience: a rumpled tablecloth, a half dozen tables crammed on the bottom floor, and Neil Diamond or something similar on the Ipod. What El Quinque is lacking in atmosphere it more than compensates for with service (especially the lunchtime crew) and incredibly fresh and delicious food. (Plus, they are bilingual and flexible to the extent that they let clients choose whether the meal will be transacted and otherwise enjoyed in English or Spanish; go for the Spanish!)

On several occasions, I have had their daily special, and my experience is that it is indeed special. On one afternoon, the waiter urged me to try the pork ribs; they were flavorful and beautifully prepared with a sweet and salty rice, a local salad, and an equally tangy and sugary house-made dressing. And, the Hamburguesa El Quinqué, an impeccably seasoned, monster-sized sirloin patty accompanied by lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, bacon, and cheese on a bun with a side of cubed, fried potatoes, is accompanied by an ice-cold pitcher of the agua of the day, usually limonada and some other flavor (such as jamaica). I will return as often as I can.



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