Last Friday was a day of adventure. Before flying to Orlando to get to Hogwarts after work (any Harry Potter fans out there?!), I made my way to Washington Heights – 159th Street and Broadway – for my first Dominican lunch. This time, I didn’t bother to call ahead of time since it seemed like maybe the Sancocho de Rabo (oxtail soup) was a staple at this tiny, homey restaurant. I was extremely excited about it because I loooove oxtail and I loooove tubers (New York magazine said they usually include a trio of three different ones, including plantains!! YUM!). Unfortunately, I missed out yet again since they didn’t make it that day. So sad.
What they did have was the Mondongo (tripe soup) and the Sopa de Pollo (chicken soup). When I asked what was better, I was told the Mondongo was really good if I liked tripe. I said I did and asked for a large order of it since I was starving ($7; $5 small). The waitress looked at me incredulously and told me that she thought a large might be too much for me. I confirmed it was the same size as the bowl the guy next to me was eating out of, and said that a large was a-ok. The bowl of tripe from Corsina was just as big! I could do it! I’m a very petite woman with a big appetite, darn it! Oh, and please add a side of white rice to that, thanks!
The confidence remained even after I took my first few bites of what seemed to be an endless amount of tripe. I could’ve had the entire stomach floating in there. (Hm, a stomach filling my stomach…weird.) The ugly squishy chunks were partially disguised (and enhanced) by a red, meaty broth, green olives, capers, red and green bell peppers, celery, onions and maybe some other unidentifiable ingredients. My favorite part, at first, was getting an olive with a spoonful of tripe and broth, but as I got a quarter of the way through the bowl, I felt my blood pressure increase a little. It just became saltier and saltier, and I began using the rice as a chaser. The never-ending tripe also started becoming a chore to eat, and it didn’t help that I kept thinking about Corsina’s busecca. It just didn’t compare, and, after I got about halfway through, I dropped my spoon and quit. The challenge was over.
But, since I couldn’t leave with the waitress thinking “I told you so” (no way, Jose!), I asked if I could get the rest of the bowl to go, knowing very well that I wouldn’t be able to drop it off at home before heading to the airport. And, soon after I walked out of the restaurant, I shamefully threw my doggie bag into the trash. Sometimes I admit defeat, but, this time, this SOUPer woman couldn’t do it. :op
Would I have actually taken the leftovers home to eat later on? Definitely. But given a choice between Margot and Corsina, the latter will win every time. And, if I ever get a chance to try Margot’s oxtail soup, I’m most certainly going to do that. I still have high hopes for that.
3822 Broadway (just north of 159th Street)
New York, NY 10032