If you are going to a Mets game there are number of dining options. CitiField itself has food created by Danny Meyer. One option is the extraordinarily popular Shake Shack. Another option is his barbeque offering, Blue Smoke. There are Nathan’s hot dogs and fries available, along with the usual cotton candy, Cracker Jack, etc…
However, CitiField’s locale offers some interesting options within walking distance. Walk in one direction, and you are in Queens’ own Chinatown. Go in the other direction and all forms of Latin food options are available.
Having done my research beforehand, I decided that MG and I would try the fare at a popular Mexican food truck. Sadly, though it was around 12:30pm, they were not open. Boo.
Surely by chance, MG and I decided on La Ambatenita.
“What do you think?”
“Looks alright. Does this work for you?”
“Let’s pop in and check out what they’ve got to say for themselves.”
As with any store in a place that caters to residents of a particular foreign country or region, there may be a language barrier. I can’t really get upset with the proprietors. They mainly serve Spanish speaking customers in a Spanish speaking neighborhood. As long as they are willing to try and work with me to find something to eat, I don’t have a problem. MG and I employed the point and “Gimmie that,” method of ordering.
La Ambatenita is primarily a bakery, but they have some steam trays with other options.
MG saw a Beef Stew, so her decision was easy. The meat is tender and tasty, and there are plenty of pieces of potato, carrot, and other stuff inside. It is a nice dish.
I know enough Spanish to get Carne Empanada and Pollo Empanada, so I ordered it off the menu board. Two carne and one pollo. They look like miniature Jamaican Beef Patties.
Check out the innards. For those that like a crispy shell on an empanada, these are not for you. The shell is tasty, but the texture is very close to a dumpling. The innards aren’t especially plentiful, but not skimpy either. The chicken comes out a little dry, but the beef is a nice choice.
The complimentary salsa looks watery, but had some serious bite. It was almost like a buffalo sauce. There was some sweet from the tomato, some tart, a little vinegar flavor, but plenty of kick. This went well with everything.
This thing, that I will call a Green Banana Fritter, was nice. This is a mash of green plantain, flour, and some other good stuff. It was very nice, especially with the salsa.
This was a Tamale Looking Thing. I had no idea what was inside. I just saw it in the display case and said, “Gimmie one of those.”
It’s mostly mashed up corn, and it is incredible. It was like an entree dessert item. The corn has such a wonderful natural sweetness that it left me rolling each bite on the front of my tongue. Wow. If you want to up the complexity of the dish, add a pinch of the salsa. It’s not necessary, but interesting. This is a must order.
Our entire bill came up to $18. It was plenty of food and plenty of different options. Unless you speak Spanish, you will have to employ the point and experiment method of ordering. The staff is friendly and did not seem to mind helping MG and I out. If you feel adventurous, give La Ambatenita a shot.
La Ambatenita Bakery
111-26 Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11368