We got a quick, delicious taste of El Rinconcito Chapin
in Old Brooklyn last year but were unable to return before the small eatery on Pearl Road shut down in advance of a move. It would be more than six months until the new spot welcomed it first diners, but that finally took place late last month.
The new spot (3330 Broadview Rd., 216-795-5776) is located less than two miles from the original restaurant, in a standalone building that used to be home to The Coney Company. In addition to offering a larger and more comfortable dining room, the new site boasts its own parking lot.
At El Rinconcito Chapin, owner Engel Godinez prepares authentic foods from his home country of Guatemala. Diners can look forward to uncommon and delicious street food-style snacks like chuchitos ($1.50), Guatemalan-style tamales filled with chicken, dobladitas (3 for $6), crispy chicken-filled turnovers, yucca fries and salsa ($4.50), and crispy rolled taquitos (4 for $7) topped with queso fresco and salsa. An order of garnachas ($9) nets a half dozen tidy stacks comprised of a small, sturdy tortilla base topped with seasoned ground beef, salsa, raw red onion and a sprinkling of salty cheese.
In addition to the ubiquitous platters of grilled steak and fried tilapia, both served with rice and beans, El Rinconcito offers some interesting larger plates. Jocon ($11) is a chicken-based dish in which the meat is stewed in salsa verde. Pepian ($11) is a dish consisting of chicken cooked in a spiced tomatillo sauce, and arroz a la cazuela ($12) is like a Guatemalan version of paella with rice, shrimp and vegetables.
Management hopes to employ the use of a pick-up window in the very new future.