Though the charms of way upper Manhattan are many, there are some drawbacks. My sister can't help but rant with raging jealousy of how even in some unlikely corner of Brooklyn you can find a stellar bakery and cool bar.
We all love Inwood, with the great parks, lively residential vibe, Revolutionary War era historic sites and many mofongo houses, but it has a long way to go in the eating department.
Some fine things in one's backyard, however, can go unnoticed. So good thing we finally took a walk down to Mamajuana Cafe on Dyckman.
The scene is jumping on a Wednesday night. Watching the crowd and live music are the best things going here, which is an eclectic hybrid of vaguely Spanish/ Caribbean rustic sensibilities meets a northern Manhattan nightspot. Some design details are sort of puzzling, but they're definitely not off-the-rack Home Depot type materials. Despite the big city location (granted not on the Sex and the City tour route), Mamajuana feels welcoming as a small village watering hole.
Garlic fries, ceviche, and octopus dishes aren't anything to write home about. (Note to the kitchen: it's not very difficult to make fries with fresh potatoes.) It's best thought of as tapas to absorb the good booze offerings. A mojito with tamarind puree rounds out the tartness to make a robust cocktail. And they don't skimp on the rum either -- meaning the namesake drink will be for the next visit.
247 Dyckman Street
New York, NY 10034