Last year near this time, I had the good fortune to find myself in the Galapagos Islands, where my husband guest lectured to a group of Columbia alumni. I don’t want to sound like a spoilsport, but sometimes I looked forward more to choosing from the vast array of Ecuadorian food on the M.V. Santa Cruz ship than gawking at the vast array of marina iguana that seemed always underfoot on shore.
Nothing can be further from the first class digs of the M.V. Santa Cruz than this corrugated metal food cart. Yet the Ecuadorian couple who run it serve authentic, delicious and ample Ecuadorian fare that made me long for those bountiful meals and new tastes. Shrimp is Ecuador’s main export; you can try shrimp ceviche here ($9) without heading below the equator. Two snackers can share the roast pork, white rice and beans ($6) that the food cart’s owners graciously split into two heaping portions for my husband and me. The pork was salty and so tender a plastic fork easily pulled it apart. However, the side of humble red beans—with their silky texture, sweet onions and fresh bursts of pepper and cilantro—was the true star of the tinfoil platter.
Ecuadorian Food Cart
On Amsterdam Avenue near West 106th Street
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