E, F, M, R at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave.; 7 at 74th St.-Broadway
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45th Ave. to Northern Blvd., Junction Blvd. to 60th St.
Of Queens’ several Ecuadoran restaurants, Hornado Ecuatoriano is relatively hospitable to Anglo diners. Its menu is bilingual, and English-speaking servers patiently describe dishes. Still, the low-rent atmosphere is hardly alluring: Plastic flowers on the tables, a blaring TV at the bar, and street gypsies traipsing through hawking roses and pirated DVDs are the main conversation pieces in this boxy, sterile, white dining room. The vast menu reflects the variety of Ecuadoran chow. Pleasant ceviches, tangy with tomato as well as lime, derive from coastal regions. Other dishes include fried-fish platters, more mealy than crisp here, and seafood stews, which are hearty but underseasoned, as this kitchen crew seems averse to garlic and native aji rocoto chile pepper. Chaulafan (fried rice) recalls Ecuador’s Chinese immigration wave, while potato and corn sides, some with Quechua names like llapingacho, originate in the Andean highlands. Stringy beef and the place’s namesake dish—savory, crackly skinned lechon hornado (roast pork)—suggest that pigs, like llamas, fare better than cattle in this rugged landscape. The restaurant’s cheapest items, corn cakes called humita and the sweeter quimbolito, are possibly its best.Hornado Ecuatoriano II
Hornado Ecuatoriano’s other branch, five blocks east on Roosevelt Ave.—at a local, rather than express, subway stop—attracts fewer curious eaters and more Ecuadoran-born local families. English is more likely to be spoken at the location profiled here.Recommended Dishes
Quimbolito, $2; humita, $3; ceviche, $11-$13; hornado, $12