Lunch Special! I walked into Tropical, not knowing much about it except that it might be Ecuadorian. Turns out it was. Tropical is a mini-chain with 4 locations throughout Queens, but there is not much written about it. Not sure why. It's a very spacious corner restaurant, full of natural light. There were three tables full of other people enjoying their meals when I gave my order to the waitress. I am assuming that the lunch specials change daily, and yesterday the two options for the first course and two for the second were: Sopa de vegetales (vegetable soup) and caldo de pata (cow feet soup is their own translation and I like it), and then cazuela de marisccos (seafood casserole) or pollo a la parilla (grilled chicken). I chose the caldo and the chicken, but if I were a seafood lover, obviously the cazuela would be the way to go. I noticed that the next few people who ordered lunch specials (and I was the only non-Ecuadorian in there) all went for the caldo and the chicken, so I felt good about that. The waitress immediately brought out a small plate with lime slices, a little container of green sauce (yay!) and a small glass of orange colored juice. I wasn't expecting the juice so that made me very happy, and once I tasted it, even happier. It was passion fruit!
My soup came out quickly.
The milky-looking broth was mild, with the light flavor and full-bodied texture from the gelatinous pata. The caldo was full of mote (pozole) and chickpeas, and garnished with cilantro and green onions. A squeeze of lime brightened it all up. Really filling.
Grilled chicken breast. Yellow. Grilled tasting. A little stringy but had good flavor. It was served with a cucumber salad, light and refreshing. Cukes, chopped tomatoes, green peppers, sliced red onions with citrus. And then long grain white rice. I ate the chicken with the green sauce, which was super-garlicky and actually even a little spicy. Green sauce, I will one day know your secrets! The total for my entire meal, drink and all, was $6.99.
Lunch specials are the best.
67-22 Roosevelt Ave