Q & A

Playing Until He Can’t Play Anymore: The Last Mambo King Orlando Marin

By Cyndi Amaya | June 14, 2012

Marcus and Orlando at Ginny's

I didn’t think this would happen but when I saw him right in front of me, I was a bit shell-shocked. The Last Mambo King, Orlando Marin, was standing in front of me at Ginny’s Supper Club in a traditional white guayabera and I was honestly star struck. Here was one of the founding fathers of the music we know today as Salsa, and I being born in Colombia, learned how to dance to Salsa as soon as I learned how to walk. So it was only natural to be in awe of one of the greats.

As I sat down and spoke with Mr. Marin, I was astounded at how personable he was; it was like I was sitting down for a chat with my grandfather. And just like a grandfather he began to recount his amazing stories of how music was back in the day, when Mambo first came about, how he started his first orchestras and how he was drafted to the Army during the Korean War. I sat and listened intently, watching his hands move around while he spoke with enthusiasm, and even gasped when I heard the big names of band leaders and artists he played with that are idolized in my culture. Names like Tito Puentes, Tito Rodriguez, and Eddie Palmieri are as familiar to him as “Mom” and “Dad” are to us.

So as the story goes, Orlando Marin grew up singing and dancing. Read More

What To Eat And Drink

Spanish Harlem’s La Marqueta: A Sweet Surprise from Breezy Hill Orchard

By Allana Mortell | June 12, 2012

sweet empanada

Every town and neighborhood has its one local market that is categorized by its charm. It’s probably small enough so you can get to know your vendors, but also large enough to hold everything you need. For Spanish Harlem, that market is La Marqueta.

La Marqueta is one of the oldest landmarks in East Harlem and to this day, continues to be a trademark spot for Harlemites and New Yorkers alike. The 80,000-square-foot market is separated by six parcels divided by intersecting streets and stretches from 111th street to 116th underneath the metro rail north line on Park Avenue. It was first established in 1936 by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to control the numerous pushcarts and vendors that piled the streets of East Harlem with their various produce, fruits, vegetables and homemade breads. Since then, La Marqueta has had its ups and downs–including a fire that destroyed one of the markets in 1977–but regardless, the market has remained a place for all people to shop and interact with vendors, buying the best local produce and locally grown vegetables East Harlem has to offer. Read More


Five Dollar Food Challenge: “Cubano” at La Isla

By admin | March 9, 2012

cuban sandwich

By: Michael Engle

In the previous installment of the Five Dollar Food Challenge, I visited Spanish Harlem and, on a whim, found El Aguila to be  my new go-to for authentic Mexican cuisine. This time, I again returned to Spanish Harlem, but I intentionally ventured farther east for the sake of exploring a different section of the area. For my most recent Five Dollar Food Challenge, I found myself at La Isla, a local outlet for casual Caribbean cuisine.

Dining with a $5 limit is totally possible at La Isla! One $5 option is the “lunch special” from 11a-4p (except on Sundays), which consists of a choice among roasted half-chicken, fried chicken, fried pork chop, or ribs, along with rice and beans. Alternatively, one might choose to spend $5 on various frituras, which sit on a heated display shelf by the front window, inviting passersby to order one for the road. La Isla offers, among other warm snacks, meat-filled cassavas, meat-filled plantains, and meat patties. Read More


Inside ‘El Barrio': Mi Mexico Lindo Bakery

By admin | January 5, 2012

Mi Mexico Lindo Bakery

By: Cyndi Amaya

Unless you’re a Harlem resident, little is known about Spanish Harlem to most New Yorkers. Known as ‘El Barrio,’ East Harlem is one of the largest predominantly Latino communities in New York City. Once known as Italian Harlem because of the once-predominant Italian community, it now houses a large Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican population.

With such a vast Hispanic community, it’s no doubt that most of the businesses and hot spots are Latin-based, with El Museo del Barrio (the largest Hispanic and Caribbean museum in NYC) being one of the main institutions of the neighborhoods. As Hispanic myself, I’ve always been drawn to El Barrio, since I can never get enough of my culture (same reason being why I moved to Queens not so long ago).

But with so many Hispanic businesses and restaurants, where is one to go for an authentic taste of Spanish Harlem? In this series, we’ll give you insight to a few Spanish Harlem favorites that seem to make everyone’s lists of must-tries. Read More


The Hispanic Society of America

By admin | August 18, 2011

Photo: Mark B. Schlemmer

Photo: Mark B. Schlemmer

By: Dylan Rodgers

Founded on May 18, 1904, by Archer Milton Huntington, the Hispanic Society of America features more than 800 paintings and 6,000 watercolors and drawings from Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American artists.  The most famous exhibition of the Hispanic Society, that of Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, was recently reopened after a two-year renovation.   Read More


Red Rooster’s Latin Night

By admin | August 10, 2011

Live Cuban Band

Last night, kicked off our new Latin night at Red Rooster. It was a great event where we got to celebrate the other side of Harlem, Spanish Harlem. There was a nice turnout and this new tradition will live on every Tuesday night at the Rooster. Last night’s Latin Night was sponsored by Hispaniola Rums which meant a few new Latin-inspired cocktails offered throughout the night. Read More


Latin Night at the Rooster

By admin | August 9, 2011

Photo: Monika Sziladi

Photo: Monika Sziladi

We can’t forget that a large part of the Harlem community is Spanish Harlem. And what better way to party with our Hispanic brothers and sisters than with our own Latin Night at Red Rooster Harlem! Every Tuesday night, Red Rooster celebrates Latin Night with a cocktail menu and music that are sure to please!

Tonight, August 9th, is going to be one heck of a fiesta! Read More


Street Food: Pupusas in El Salvador

By mahir | June 22, 2011



Street Food

Latin America has a rich history of delicious street foods. Though many of the dishes of Central, Southern, and Latin America share several key components and ingredients, local home cooks and chefs have been preparing these meals for so long that each food has automatically taken on the authentic flavor of the region.  Read More


Premium Organic Peruvian Coffee

By mahir | May 19, 2011

Photo: macield on flickr

Photo: macield on flickr

By Elizabetta Tekeste

Recently, I find myself in the mood to re-read one of my favorite novels, The Celestine Prophecy. So it seems fitting this week to highlight the backdrop for this incredible novel and its coffee. Grab your passports-we’re taking a trip to plentiful Peru. Read More


Featured Recipe

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Meet the Team

About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger