Seventh Heaven: Dining Along the 7 Train
by Julie Besonen, 02/26/2013
Courtesy, Rincón Criollo
7 Train Stop: Junction Blvd.
40-09 Junction Blvd., 718-458-0236, Corona, Queens
Multicultural Corona served as a haven for Cubans fleeing Fidel Castro's regime in the 1960s and 1970s. Some expats have since moved on, but Rincón Criollo, a home-style Cuban restaurant founded by the Acosta brothers in 1976, continues to carry the flag. Pre-Castro, the brothers had a flourishing restaurant outside of Havana, and many of those recipes are duplicated here—including ropa vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce), rabo encendido (slow-cooked oxtail) and classic rice and beans. It's hard to find a better Cubano sandwich, a toasty treat of ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. The steak sandwich—layered with shoestring potatoes, tomatoes, grilled onions and shredded lettuce—is a close runner-up. Dignified career waiters in white shirts and red bow ties are generous with advice. Listen closely as they mention the daily specials.