El Papasito Forever Restaurant

Manhattan, New York City


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rating star

A Dominican friend invited me to Papasito's recently and told me that they have really authentic Dominican food. The atmosphere was extremely no-frills and relaxed, which is great if you have time to spare, but let the server know if you're in a rush, as I hear it's the Dominican way to have a long, slow meal so servers take their time. We were in no rush and were enjoying the food and the music so it wasn't a problem. The lighting is dim and the music and TV are loud, so don't expect to have a deep conversation or a romantic date or read the Times while you eat. El Papasito is, however, a great place to hang out with friends.

I was initially very reluctant to go to a Dominican restaurant because they are known for eating nothing but meat and plantains and very little (or no) vegetables but I'm really glad I did. They have an entire vegetarian menu, including tofu, veggie fajitas, and vegetable mofongo. They were out of tofu the night I dined so they recommended the veggie mofongo. It turned out to have butter in it but honestly, I'm just glad they're making an effort to have veggie food. I've been to a million Dominican restaurants that don't even have an appetizer I can eat, let alone an entire veg section, so I'm glad they're trying.

The veggie mofongo was good, but I can't say it was spectacular. The veggies (broccoli and carrots) were obviously frozen, but I was just happy they had a non-animal topping.

My favorite part of the experience was dancing with the waiter. We told him we wanted to listen to bachata and I said I wanted to dance so he turned up the music, turned down the lighting, and we took a spin in the middle of the dining area; it was fantastic. And yes - he did receive an extra tip. :)

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