Famed for its roast pork, El Bohio Lechonera in the Bronx has been a porcine powerhouse since David Chang was eating pig belly in his high chair. Though it’s on my endless list of eateries to try, I’ve never made it, so when I spied the neon sign announcing the arrival of El Bohio #3 at the corner of Fifth Ave. and 45th Street in Sunset Park not long ago, I took note.
And it’s some fine roast pork, as it turns out, moist, garlicky, rubbed with oregano, and served with a crisp hunk of mahogany skin. That’s the first thing worth noting about El Bohio. The second is that they sell said lechon by the pound, at $7 per, which is quite a deal. (Same goes for the morcilla [blood sausage] and chicarrones, by the way.) Grab a pound of it and a loaf of bread and you’ve got a picnic for two worthy of the view at the top of nearby Sunset Park.
The third thing worth noting is that there are some superior family meal deals here, next time you’ve got a few mouths to feed and a hankering for rice and beans. So last weekend four of us picked up a Combo #3: a pound of pork, two bistecs encebollados (thin, pounded steak with onions), a mountain of yellow rice, red beans, a salad and a 1.5 liter bottle of Coke for a flat $25. OK, the salad is pretty perfunctory, but the rice and beans are as good as the lechon, and the whole spread handled four adults with ease.
The steak didn’t quite live up to the pork—it was a bit tough, and I was thrown by the inclusion of broccoli where only onions and more onions ought to tread—so next time I might opt for #4, which substitutes fried fish fillets for the steaks, or #2, which offers a whole chicken and three pork chops along with the sides for even less money, $22.95. If I miss the lechon too much I’ll return the next day for a lunch special that runs $6.
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El Bohio, 4523 Fifth Ave. at 45th St., 718-686-0079, also -0666 and -6011