Peruvian Food in Sheepshead Bay at Coney Island Taste

Tallarines verdes con bistec apanado – Just one of the traditional Peruvian dishes at C.I. Taste

For those who don’t know me, I spent the better part of the past year living in Peru. For those who have never seen me, I gained a lot of weight living in Peru. There’s a simple reason for that: Peruvian food is among the best in the world. And my increasingly chunky behind became very discerning about what qualifies as good Peruvian food. Coney Island Taste (2580 Coney Island Avenue) is good Peruvian food.

Don’t let the name fool you. Or the appearance. Coney Island Taste’s humble establishment plasters its windows with photos of greasy sandwiches, burgers, and breakfasts, harking back to its beginnings two years ago when it started slinging such simple fare. And when they began selling true Peruvian cuisine a year ago, the small line on the awning advertising Peruvian-American dishes got lost in the mix.

Peruvian Food in Sheepshead Bay, the owner of Coney Island TasteThat’s a shame, because owners Fabiola and Jesus Roa are serving up the best Latin food this side of South Slope. Originally from Piura, a Peruvian city along the northern coast known for its seafood dishes, the Roas have been living in the Sheepshead Bay/Brighton Beach area for more than 12 years and saw a niche that needed to be filled.

“I saw this was an area that doesn’t have many Spanish restaurants, but this is a mixed area,” said Fabiola Roa. And so far the Peruvian dishes have been a hit with clients from all walks. “I have Russian customers, Indian, American, Latino.”

“Russians love the seafood dishes” like arroz con mariscos (a Peruvian seafood paella) and parihuela (seafood soup), she added.

C.I. Taste sells Inca Kola - another source of national pride. They also have many homemade desserts and beverages.

C.I. Taste sells Inca Kola – another source of national pride. They also have many homemade desserts and beverages.

Because of its three regions – the coast, mountains, and rainforest- Peruvian cuisine already enjoyed tremendous diversity before the conquistadores arrived. As it became the center of South American colonization, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, and Italian influences began to bleed into the food. The country is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records for its astounding number and variety of dishes.

One particular favorite of mine that Coney Island Taste serves is aji de gallina, a French-inspired dish of shredded chicken breast in a rich, creamy cheese-based sauce made with the Peruvian aji pepper. Bursting with flavor, the sauce is smothered over rice and potatoes and – like many dishes – topped with a hard-boiled egg.

To get a taste of Peru’s signature dish, order ceviche. A source of national pride and international quarreling, most countries in South America have a version of this dish of seafood “cold-cooked” in a lime-juice marinade, with all claiming the origins. But wherever it comes from, food and travel writers point to Peruvian ceviche as the best. Coney Island Taste’s ceviche is cut into chunks of just the right size, and the acidic bite of lime juice is tempered by a perfect blend of peppers and oil to bring out the flavors and texture of the fish. It’s best saved for a sweaty summer lunch, but don’t let that stop you if the craving hits.

While perusing the menu for the first time, my eyes bulged when I saw papa rellena and causa rellena on the appetizers. The former is seasoned Peruvian mashed potatoes stuffed with chopped meat, olives, raisins, and a boiled egg, and fried to a delicious crisp. The meat was savory and balanced by the sweetness of the raisins. Causa rellena is a cold appetizer. It again features seasoned Peruvian mashed potatoes, this time layered with tuna or chicken salad.

Other things to try include papa a la huancaina, tallarines verdes, tallarin saltado, jalea, and pescado a lo macho.

Peruvian food in Sheepshead BayPeruvian joints around the city are establishing themselves by featuring their uniquely flavored rotisserie chicken (pollo a la brasa). Coney Island Taste serves this up, but it’s not the main attraction. Their typical plates best many of the Peruvian restaurants I’ve gone to in New York and New Jersey, so I’d recommend diving right into the platos tipicos at this unpretentious gem in Sheepshead Bay. Most of the platters range from $12.00 to $17.00 – but worry not: in true Peruvian style, each serving is a massive heap of deliciousness that is suitable for two people.

Coney Island Taste is a slam dunk in our ‘hood. It was just September that we complained our area needed a good Latin joint – and even dared to say we needed a cevicheria. Coney Island Taste delivers on both.

Coney Island Taste

2580 Coney Island Avenue, off of Avenue W

718-339-8371

No credit cards accepted

See what other people said about Coney Island Taste on Coney Island Taste on Urbanspoon

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  • Ray Johnson

    Well, that is a review to write home (to Peru) about! That is some appetizing food.

    And who do you have to thank for opening your ‘newly-arrived back in the states eyes’ on this one?


  • Ray Johnson

    Well, that is a review to write home (to Peru) about! That is some appetizing food.

    And who do you have to thank for opening your ‘newly-arrived back in the states eyes’ on this one?


  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    That dish in the photo looks AWESOME. I want some of those noodles like now.


  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur B

    That dish in the photo looks AWESOME. I want some of those noodles like now.


  • http://whitetrashbbq.blogspot.com/ BrooklynQ

    That food looks outstanding. I can’t wait to try it out.


  • http://whitetrashbbq.blogspot.com BrooklynQ

    That food looks outstanding. I can’t wait to try it out.


  • ziggy

    what avenues is this between?


  • ziggy

    what avenues is this between?


  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    ziggy: it’s between Ave W and Gravesend Neck Rd.


  • http://www.NedBerke.com Ned Berke

    ziggy: it’s between Ave W and Gravesend Neck Rd.


  • jo

    i LOVE peruvian food. so tasty and delicious. i’m glad it’s getting more press because it really is worth the try. plus they got great appetizers. papa rellana, papa a la huancaina is delicious


  • jo

    i LOVE peruvian food. so tasty and delicious. i’m glad it’s getting more press because it really is worth the try. plus they got great appetizers. papa rellana, papa a la huancaina is delicious


  • Dave Z

    I know what I’m eating fro dinner tonight! I hope you guys are right this time, not like that garbage Sofia pizza on ciney island ave!


  • Dave Z

    I know what I’m eating fro dinner tonight! I hope you guys are right this time, not like that garbage Sofia pizza on ciney island ave!


  • Dave Z

    The food is excellent! Great call Ned, I told Jesus about the article and he said for you to stop by so he can thank you. I am going back today to try the Paella!

    BTW the green hot sauce is OFF THE HOOK!


  • Dave Z

    The food is excellent! Great call Ned, I told Jesus about the article and he said for you to stop by so he can thank you. I am going back today to try the Paella!

    BTW the green hot sauce is OFF THE HOOK!


  • joyce c

    So happy to hear a different cuisine has finally opened shop in Sheepshead Bay. I will be sure to visit soon! Love Turkish food but too many of the same seem to pop up in this small neighborhood.


  • joyce c

    So happy to hear a different cuisine has finally opened shop in Sheepshead Bay. I will be sure to visit soon! Love Turkish food but too many of the same seem to pop up in this small neighborhood.

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  • MrArtTuro

    Good food, but do beware – an 18% gratuity was added to my bill (two people dined) and there was NO indication that that was done. If I hadn’t checked the bill and thought, “What is this non-described charge?” … A horrid practice bordering on a ripoff.