El Nuevo Portal

DSCN6303

Greetings, everyone! Apologies for not posting for a long while!  So far, October has been a fully packed month. Stay tuned for an update about our month…meanwhile, enjoy this post about El Nuevo Portal!

217 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Menu here

It’s not always that Victor and I explore around Brooklyn, but we wanted to check this small friendly restaurant called El Nuevo Portal.  It was one of our stops while we were visiting some local thrift shops and small boutiques.

El Nuevo serves some authentic looking Latin food at an affordable price and served with smiles!  You can see the interior design of this place, on Google Maps (Strange first experience for Victor and I).  Nothing spectacular to speak about the design since this should be for a quick casual lunch and less fancy dinner option.

Once you enter, you can simply take a seat if you see an open table.  You do not have to order at the front, unless of course, you are ordering for take-out.  They are pretty laid-back about everything here!   Restroom was near the back, right next to the old jukebox of old music..The place was not sparkly clean, but decent enough!

DSCN6307
Breaded Beef Steak Sandwich $4.00
Rice with Chicken $8.00
Rice with Chicken $8.00

 

Victor says 4/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail

DSCN6306This restaurant is located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and it’s a little over a mile walk from the Brooklyn Bridge.

We don’t always go out to the most beautiful and lavishly decorated restaurants, but that’s okay. As long as the food is good, I’m all set! So, on our latest adventure, we stopped El Nueva Portal (which translates to “The New Portal”). It was definitely a portal of food to my stomach.

Upon coming here, it may seem rather hectic, dependent on what time it is. We arrived just as lunch hour was coming to an end. We could still see people coming in and out, as we were seated and waiting for our food.

The menu has a large variety of food, ranging from sandwiches to tapas, rices dishes to stews. You should expect to have trouble selecting something when you come here.

I ordered Breaded Steak Sandwich and Pinky ordered Rice with Chicken, along with a complimentary basket of warm and crispy bread.  The breaded steak sandwich wasn’t dry at all and was very juicy. This sandwich is composed of a breaded piece of steak with lettuce and tomatoes sandwiched between crispy thin hero bread. For $4 dollars, it’s a tasty snack you grab on the go.

Pinky and I almost always get some sort of chicken and rice dish at any Spanish/ Latin American we go to. Different from the previous Latin restaurants we’ve been to, the chicken is actually mixed within the rice, whereas the previous restaurants put a piece of chicken on top. Regardless of how the chicken implemented into the dish, it still tasted excellent at El Neuvo Portal. They were very generous with their portions and this dish can easily feed two hungry people. The rice was very rich and buttery and there was actually a lot of chicken.

This place can get very busy at times, but it’s worth coming if you’re on a budget and if you’re hungry, even if it isn’t the nicest looking place.

Pinky says 4/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

DSCN6310

This restaurant was delicious!  First off, I would have to say that the staff were very hard-working.  Although there were more customers than the staff could seem to handle during the lunch rush, they still pulled it off with a smile.  Kudos to you, El Nuevo.  Because of that, there were not enough free tables that were clean, but our waitress apologized before we even had any thought of complaining.

I looked at the place and I wasn’t expecting fancy decor, but expected family-oriented atmosphere and completely received that vibe.  The portions were huge and hot off the fire.

The bread that the waitress gave us was fresh out of the oven it seemed, with lots of butter flavor.  More importantly, it was not soggy, but crisp to the bite.  Yummy!

DSCN6304

My Rice with Chicken arrived and was completely overwhelmed by the mountain I had on my plate.  My first thought, “Oh I cannot finish this”, and it was a true statement… The chicken was tender and I loved the onions.  I realized that it was listed on the menu as “Rice with Chicken” insinuating that there was definitely going to be more rice than chicken.  However, I was still not disappointed!  Hot and FRESH.

I enjoyed the breaded beef steak!  It was a nice new texture to explore on sandwiches.  At the end of our meal, I took a portion of the rice and a small bite of the sandwich,home, so I could eat it the next day.  Even still, the flavor kept and was equally nice to my taste buds.

When Victor and I left, I was peering over to our neighbor’s meal at the next table.  Dang, he ordered some kind of stew.  It smelled so good and we could tell that he was a regular there.  Next time, we shall try that!

MORE SHOTS

DSCN6301DSCN6311 DSCN6313

Hey, It’s Jurassic Park?

DSCN4776

1 Dinosaur Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094

Could it be that there is a park that features dinosaurs?! Yes, your dreams have just come true.  Located in Secaucus, New Jersey, this place had a LIVING SOCIAL deal recently and that’s why we decided to try it out.  And…okay fine, we really went to let our inner nerds out.  I mean, who DOESN’T LOVE dinosaurs?  We aren’t really sure why people were rolling in with their kids on a Saturday around late 3pm.

DSCN4779

All the folks with their children must have been using their living social deals, since there were separate lines for those individuals using those vouchers.  We are sad to announce that the approximately 50% off deal just expired though…

Make sure to bring extra $10 for parking fees though.  They consider the fee as a “environmental fee” and urge you all to take the mass transit instead of driving your car.

The park features about 32 dinosaurs in a small dirt covered area.  Make sure also not to wear your nicest clothes to this park, you will definitely get covered in sand/dirt that is all scattered around this park.

However, the real deal is: Did it live up to our expectations?  Check out this video we recorded.  It features how the dino-bots move!

Pinky says 2/5 16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg16-coffee-cup-icons-square-brown-lg

DSCN4777

I personally didn’t think this place was worth the trip.  However, I will give them an extra star for effort.  It seems silly, but I expected a lot more from a place like this.  Because of my crazy imagination, I was thinking there would be dinosaurs that you could actually see move and not lay stagnant in the bushes or behind trees.  The park was also awfully designed with tacky sponsor messages everywhere.  I would definitely recommend this place for parents with children, since adults will not enjoy this place.  What I did enjoy was that at least they made the dinosaurs look like they were living and breathing.  Some were even interacting with their environment when their tails were swishing around little weeds.  I wish their sounds were a bit louder though, even though I would understand the young children would be scared of them.  BUT HEY, they’re freaking dangerous dinosaurs — they should be scary as hell.

DSCN4854

I wish I could ride these little dinos..I’m not asking for a lot right? Okay, maybe I am.  I see a lot of things they need to fix though.  One thing especially, they need to expand — we finished walking around within an hour.  I actually wonder what would happen if it rained too…the park is all filled with this sand stuff that got all over my dress and shoes! Blegh.  Ladies, even though this is a crazy small park, leave the heels and fancy maxi dresses at home.

Victor says 2/5 Fish Toys icon thumbnailFish Toys icon thumbnail

Children will probably say 10/5

DSCN4778

This place is expeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeensive.

We got our day-passes from LivingSocial.com and for $12 each. Normally, its $25 per adult, $20 for children (3-12), and free for kids under 2, without any additional extremities like 3D movies or a trip to the Commander’s tent.  On top of that, if you drove here, expect to pay another $10 for parking. Because of the recent deal, the park was crowded with so many people.

Coming here will give you the feeling of entering into the land of Jurassic Park. Giant gates with overgrown trees and shrubbery everywhere. The park workers and staff are semi-helpful. I think it would also be appropriate for workers to hide their tattoos as well since there any many children and parents watching the shows.

DSCN4853

The amphitheater show was a little disappointing, but it was definitely aimed more at children for sure. The show started almost 15 minutes late and we were baking in the sun.  Basically, it was just a couple of guys inviting kids to dance as he was playing guitar and singing.

I guess it’s time to review the dinosaurs themselves. I guess I was semi-impressed with them? They were modeled pretty realistic and probably look a lot more realistic to a child. Some of the dinosaurs were robotic, so they would move their neck, blink, breathe, swing their tail, rotate their head, etc. Dinosaur audio calls were usually these hidden speakers or speaker rocks next to the dinosaurs. Some of the dinosaurs tower you, which is pretty awesome.  Pinky and I had a lot of fun trying to “run-away” from the immobile robots.  I think of all the dinosaurs at the park, I was the most disappointed at Pterodactyl near the center of the park on a tall cliff. It was basically just a dinosaur model on top of a spinning disc, rotating aimlessly. I think more thought could be put into some of the things at this park.

Overall, I just don’t think it’s worth coming if you’re going to pay the full price. It’s definitely cool place to bring your kids and  because I’m pretty sure Pinky and I were the only adults without kids there that day.

DSCN4856

DSCN4857