New York Cuban – Chinese cuisine comes from the Cuban – Chinese culture that arose from the 1850s immigration of Chinese into Cuba, and from there to New York following the 1959 Revolution. For a good value (and maybe the only remaining) Cuban – Chinese dinner menu I go to Dinastia at 145 West 72nd, around the corner from where I live. I go for the Cuban side of the menu, not the Chinese.
Dinastia must have a serious deep-fat fryer, for what they do is a crossover of Cuban, Chinese, and American soul food. They turn out a deep-fried chicken plate (called Crackling Chicken) and a pork chop plate that is scrumptious. It’s soul food that comes with yellow rice and plantains instead of greens, okra, or grits.
The Chinese food is fully westernized, in some dishes radically, and at Dinastia’s it’s all good except maybe the won ton soup, but I’m a won ton maven with high standards. Consider the squid and rice; it’s always good and makes for a great leftover/take-home. My next-day enhancement is to add caramelized onions, peas, and garlic and splash it with ‘Bronx’ hot sauce!
Dinastia’s café con leche is very good and seems to be the only offering in the neighbourhood as Cuban Chinese is becoming harder to find, generally.
Across the street, Charles’ Pan Fried Chicken competes as a take-out joint. Between these two – if you’re an appreciative connoisseur – I don’t think you’ll find better fried chicken elsewhere.