Fritanga Monimbo

Good baho is hard to get, if you can find it at all. One reason is that it takes about eight hours to cook the complicated dish. What the heck is it? Essentially beef brisket, mysteriously soaked in a marinade of tomatoes, onions, and oranges, and then wrapped in banana leaves, tossed into a big pot with yuca and plantains, and steamed until very tender. This Nicaraguan restaurant offers it only on Saturdays ($4.75 per serving), and odds are it will be gone well before sundown. So call ahead and reserve yours if you don't want to miss out. But rest assured people line up for other savory offerings at this cafeteria-style hole-in-the-wall crammed with four vinyl-topped booths. To wit: nacatamales (Nicaraguan tamales with rice, potatoes, and pork tucked inside the cornmeal outer layer), shredded beef, chicken with vegetables (all for $3.90). For side dishes try the cuajada (a tasty kind of cottage cheese) alongside some sweet plantains, and red beans topped with sour cream. An array of natural tropical fruit juices completes the picture.