Before I get into the meat of this post, I sincerely apologize for the quality of the photos below. The days of carrying my camera are long over since my new camera no longer fits discreetly in my handbag. My “new” camera is a bulky but oh-so-lovely DSLR. It takes great photos but I haven’t mustered up the courage to lug it around or whip it out at a restaurant. My cell phone CAN take nice photos but when it wants to be, it can be a real Bitch to work with. So, again, I am so sorry!
I make lots of mention of BR. In the past, I have had boyfriends and significant others- all nice guys but not the right guys. For the first time in a long time, I am completely and utterly happy. The days of saying it and not meaning it are long gone and in the first time ever, I have no complaints. For those that know me, that says a lot. Part of being so happy is getting to that comfortable stage in a relationship where we stop going out of our way to go out or do something romantic. I don’t see it as a bad thing, I see that I found someone I can be completely comfortable doing nothing with.
HOWEVER. Just because you are comfortable, it doesn’t mean you stop all together. So, on one particular day, BR and I decided to have dinner in Tribeca. We both work in Lower Manhattan and there are quite a bit of great places to dine! Even some happy hour deals. I was in the mood for some really good sangria and what came to mind was Sazon. With our similar backgrounds (me, Hispanic. Him, Carribean) dishes like rice and beans, fried plantains and baked chicken are familiar and comforting. Sazon fit the bill. Puerto Rican cuisine that offers great dishes and a nice romantic atmosphere.
The staff are friendly here. The space is big. They encourage you to make reservations for dinner, but I am of the elderly variety that likes my dinner quiet and early. We settled into our seats. The music wasn’t too loud which allowed us to chat. The menu was pretty standard for Puerto Rican cuisine.
To start our meal, the server recommended the fried calamari. We received a piping hot platter of fried calamari with a delightful dipping sauce. The calamari was decent but nothing to write home about.
The last time I was at Sazon was during a holiday luncheon with my coworkers and I ordered a pot of soup. The occasion called for something more substantial, so I ordered the pernil.
Pernil is a slow roasted pork shoulder that is seasoned primarily with garlic, salt, cumin, and thyme. It’s not the healthiest dish, but when done right, its supple and savory. The pernil came with yellow rice and sweet plantains; I had them swap the sweet stuff for the green plantains. The pernil is MASSIVE. I mean HUGE. When the server presented me with the pernil, he initially gave it to BR because what woman in her right mind eats half of a pork shoulder? (not me, I took ¾ of it home!) The pernil was TENDER. And flavorful. BR stared in awe of the beast that lay on my plate. It’s a dish that can be shared with 2-3 people. He looked down at his dish and frowned. Maybe next time he takes my advice on what to order? We’ll see.
BR ordered chuletas; or fried pork chops. The chefs at Sazon definitely know how to fry a chuleta. A nice brown “crust” from a fry in a super hot pan. A delicate and very faint pink indicated its juiciness once he sliced into it. And after a bite, he wasn’t coming back up for air. The juicy pork chops that came with rice and beans were inhaled at record speed. He was more than happy to assist in the demolition of the leftovers over the course of several days (yes, its THAT much pork!)
We imbibed on sweet sangria and declined on dessert. But the restaurant makes a great tres leches or flan.
If you are in the Tribeca area, Sazon is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and brunch on the weekends. For a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine that’s been gussied up a bit- its sure to please. They have a nice variety of fish, chicken and pork dishes, and few vegetarian dishes. Its great for a fancy girls night, a special date, or just a random Wednesday night. Bit of a warning though, if it’s a weekend, odds are the Salsa version of “Happy Birthday” will drive you insane. That, and the music is often very loud.