We went to El Almacen a couple of weekends ago because our friend Javier recommended it and he has a good taste in general so it should be good. Or, at least, it should be cute. I don’t know Williamsburg that well, but the restaurant is at one of the main streets and easy to find. It looks cute already from the facade.
As soon as we seated at the table, they brought us this cute basket with bread and butter. I notice the details so I appreciated that they didn’t bring the butter cold and hard as many restaurants use to do.
We sat at the back of the restaurant where once seemed to be the ‘patio’ of the house. Next to our table was a wooden window, left – I guess – since the time this part was outside of the house. From there, we were able to look what was going on inside the restaurant, or better said at the other room. On the window sill, they had this beautiful vase with white and purple dried flowers. Along with the lamp on the table right next to us and the vintage chairs, it gave a romantic touch from another era.
To start (para empezar), we had the Empanadas. There are 2 empanadas in each order, so we chose one cheese and onion and one ham and cheese. I highly recommend the cheese and onion, it is absolutely delicious! The ham and cheese empanada is good as well, but the cheese and onion is definitely the winner. The empanadas came with pico de gallo and here is a small tip: try it with the bread left! Yummy.
The whole restaurant is decorated in such a way that gives the impression that you are in Buenos Aires in 1950’s.
My husband had the Milanesa de pollo, which is the Latin American version of chicken parmesan; or, in other words, breaded chicken breast with one slice of ham, one slice of cheese and tomato sauce. He asked french fries on the side.
I thought I would go with the “healthier version” and I asked for the Milanesa de berenjena, which is Eggplant milanese napolitana. I guess I made the wrong choice. As much I loved the appetizers, I cannot say the same for my entree. The eggplant was not well cooked before it was bread fried and it was a little bit crunchy, which I don’t like in this specific case. I thought it would come with tomato sauce as well (I guess I was confused from the ‘napolitana’ mentioned on the menu. I did not like the salad on the side either. It was very fresh and good quality but it was dry, it did not have at least a little bit of vinegar and olive oil.
My milanesa had mashed potatoes on the side. Now, that was good.That was really good! Homemade, real mashed potatoes.
Saying all this, I don’t mean the restaurant was not good. This is not a bad review, honestly. I definitely want to go back there and I strongly believe I made the wrong choice. The meat plates that passed by me looked absolutely delicious, next time I am going for the Churrasco (18 oz. rib eye with truﬄe fries)! The burger also looked fantastic.
We also tried the white sangria and it was really good.
When in restaurants, I also always notice the restrooms. First, because I believe that the restroom is a sample of how the kitchen is; in the sense that if the bathroom is dirty, don’t have great expectations for the kitchen either. But this bathroom; oh, this bathroom! Not only was it clean, it was one of the very few restrooms where I felt like taking pictures so, after a while, I went back, this time with my phone!
Before I left, I took some pictures from the other room as well.
I loved this furniture, it was like an old bookcase with knick knacks and all the drawers had handwritten words, like arroz=rice, lentejas=lentils, harina=flour, azucar= sugar etc.
I am looking forward to going back again soon. For sure I know that when my friend Eva is going to visit us in May, I will take here there for brunch. And it’s all meat this time, baby! What the heck, it’s an Argentinian restaurant anyway, that is why I should go for anyway!
557 Driggs Ave., Williamsburg, NY
Closest subway station: Bedford Ave. (L train)
– Testing NYC
P.S. (1): When you go, let me know!
P.S.(2): If you want to see the brunch menu, click here.