We interrupt our normally scheduled boat blogging for a moment of SoHo sadness, lifted from a post-lunch Facebook rant:
Aaaaand the mallification of SoHo has marched on over the other old-school Cuban place where I used to occasionally go for lunch (hum a few bars of the Darth Vader theme music here if you like).
There used to be 2; my favorite was Las Brisas del Caribe, which was just a couple of blocks down from Scholastic and had delicious pernil, and then there was another one on Lafayette Street that I tried a couple of times after Las Brisas shut down a couple of years after I started working here.
I didn't like their pernil quite as much (in fact it was after Las Brisas shut down and was replaced by just another trendy deli that I started making my own) but they would do in a pinch when I got a craving for roast pork, as I did today after a "Hawaiian-cuisine" disappointment in the cafeteria at lunch today. They were doing a luau theme there today in honor of the opening of the outdoor terrace we get to use in the warmer parts of the year. I wasn't expecting much, but all morning I did nurture a little sprig of hope that they might have risen above the just-add-pineapple version of Hawaiian food, thinking that they could so easily do something like an oven-roasted kalua pig -- but unsurprisingly, they didn't, it was chicken skewered with pineapple chunks and such.
So I set out in search of pernil. I couldn't remember the exact cross street where the place was, couldn't even remember the name, but I knew where the general vicinity was so I walked up to Broadway and over to Lafayette and than headed south.
I hadn't actually gone in a very long time, and I have to say that the way SoHo is these days, I was actually suspecting that there was another disappointment in store for me.
Sure enough, a few blocks down, I found a construction hoarding around the place that I'm pretty sure used to house the restaurant. Bummer, bummer, bummer.
And then, to add insult to injury, or maybe injury to insult, I nearly got trampled by a totally oblivious guided gang of tourists on the way back to the office in one of those construction site sidewalks that are barricaded on the street side so you can't escape. I may have gotten ever so slightly elbowy with one particular gent who apparently thought that twelve inches was sufficient passing room. Really, tourists, could you just keep your eyes open a little bit when you're walking? See helpful video below!
I did eventually find some lunch (Honey chili pork belly over jasmine rice with a really good beansprout salad) at the Sweet Chili food truck that was parked on Broadway just north of Houston Street, and it was nice to get a walk in - but I'm sad about that Cuban place being gone.