What can I say about this place that hasn’t already been said… Margon is a Midtown institution. When I started this blog (and wrote about Margon neighbors Minar & Kati Roll) I got tons of emails from people telling me I should go to Margon. For those who have been there- you know the deal. For those who haven’t… here’s your introduction.
Margon is a “Cuban” “Restaurant”. I put “restaurant” in quotes because it’s not really a restaurant. It’s more of a diner with cafeteria style ordering. On the left is where you point to the food you want, on the right are a few cramped tables that at peak lunch hours, are always packed. Moving from left to right along the counter… the first third is where you order the sandwiches. If you don’t want a sandwich, ignore the crowd that gathers at the door. Bypass the line and head inside. The second third of the counter is for people who are ordering food to stay, and if you want to take your food to go, go to the line that forms all the way in the back- after the final third of the counter.
I put the “Cuban” in quotes because even though the sign outside says “Cuban”, it’s actually more Dominican. The first giveaway is the poster of the Juan Pablo Duarte in the back (one of the founders of the Dominican Republic)… but the real proof is in the Cuban Sandwich. A delicious pressed sandwich of pork, ham, cheese, mustard and pickles- the Margon version also has salami, a strictly Dominican preparation. While some complain that it’s not authentic, it is no less delicious!
I could write on and on… but Margon is better enjoyed by the eyes:
The sandwich press
The finished product
More food porn… and the +/- after the jump:
Moros (mixture of white rice and black beans) and Maduros (fried ripe plaintains)
The Roasted Chicken
See more pics on the Midtown Lunch Flickr Page
A few notes about Margon. They are supposed to have Roasted Chicken, Pork Chops, and beef stew every day- and then everything else is a special only available on certain days. The big board says Octopus Salad on Wednesday & Friday- but we saw it yesterday (a Tuesday), so I’m not exactly sure how accurate the board is… but here’s some of the info anyway: Roast pork is on Wednesday only, Ox Tails are on Monday, Thursday & Friday, Tripe and Pigs feet are on Monday & Thursday, fresh ham is on Fridays, and fried fish is on Wednesday & Friday. For a complete list, check out their website www.margonrestaurant.com
The prices are also an in-exact science… it says that each dish comes with rice and beans, or salad and plantains- but I always order Moros (a cuban mixture of white rice and black beans) and Plantains, and I’m pretty sure they don’t charge me extra (I can’t be positive though… it’s very hectic in there). If you ask for white rice, black beans and plantains- I don’t know what they charge you. Also, I think the portions when you eat in are slightly larger then when you take it to go (but this also not a scientific study). They also claim to charge you an extra .25 on to go orders (to pay for the packaging).
Everything is as delicious as it looks… with the most popular dishes being the Roasted Chicken (despite being served in a pool of garlicky oil), the roasted pork (despite being served only on Wednesdays), the Cuban Sandwiches (despite have salami in them), and the Octopus Salad. My favorite is the latin style chicken wings. Delicious! And of course everything must be eaten with rice, beans and plantains. A quick plantain lesson… there are two kinds of fried plantains. Tostones are unripe plantains, smashed flat, fried and slated. If you like the sweet sticky kind, these are called Maduros, and are made from frying over-ripe plantains. If you get something in the middle, it means the restaurant did now allow the plantains to ripen enough before frying them.
Being born and raised inMiami, I feel I am qualified to say that Margon is the real deal. The decor, the pandemonium, the crowd, and overlooking it’s Dominican Aspects- all mean that eating at Margon is the closest thing for me, to eating at home.
- If you like Latin food, this is the best in Midtown
- The Cuban Sandwiches are delicious
- They’ve got yucca, both kinds of plantains, white rice and black beans (some places have only yellow rice and pinto beans)
- The crowd. This place can get packed and pretty hectic… so plan on taking it to go. Eating in is only for people who get lucky
- They only have roasted pork on Wednesday! It should be a crime…
- It’s authentic (read: super super greasy)
- Latin food is pretty heavy… so if you are on a diet, or don’t want to feel like taking a nap after lunch- stay away.
Margon, 136 W. 46th St. (btw. 6+7th), 212-354-5013