Lunchtime With Tillie: El Cofre


"Kick, kick, kick: GOOOAAALLL!"

Hey everyone, it's Van and Tillie with a special World Cup edition of Lunchtime With Tillie. The above phrase is a quote from T and it's what she says whenever she sees any soccer on TV or is kicking a ball around the house. (She was introduced to the sport through an episode of "Dora the Explorer.") I bring up Tillie's love of soccer because it played a part in our dining experience at Dominican restaurant El Cofre, located on Myrtle Avenue.

It's funny, but after being in the neighborhood for years I had only eaten there once before and that was during the Myrtle Avenue block party last year. I always walked by the place but never thought to give it a shot, and as it is, I hadn't gone back since that day. The food was fine, but it just hadn't reached "must-have-El Cofre" status, even though a couple of people have told me the pork chops there are amazing.

Now that I've given you that boring history lesson, let's take it to the present day with our trip there. It started as any other LWT day: Tillie plays; she goes to sleep, which always seems to be later than usual on the days we're going out for lunch; I sit around starving, hoping she wakes up soon so we can go out. When my little sleeping beauty finally did wake up, I was in full get-out-the-door mode, thinking of a place to go that's accommodating proximity- and price-wise. So El Cofre it was.

We got there and only a couple of people were sitting at tables with a few people standing in line getting their orders to go. We took a seat and I asked the waitress for a high chair. It arrived and I set Tillie up in it—as best as I could because the buckle was broken. I just had to hope she wasn't in the mood to hop up and down in the chair: It's always the little things!

After looking at the menu, I decided to keep it pretty basic with the chicken, rice and black beans lunch special. For Tillie, I ordered some rice and beans.

While we were waiting for the food to arrive, Tillie's attention was focused on the TV up in the corner playing the Brazil-South Korea game. I was afraid she'd hop up in her seat, ready to get a game on, but she managed to stay put!

My food arrived pretty quickly as it was just a matter of assembling it from the hot trays at the front. I ordered it with the yellow rice, but it was brought over with white instead. By the time that was rectified, Tillie's food came over. It was red beans with yellow rice, but I had ordered black beans for her, too. There were a lot of colorful mix-ups being made, but I figured I'd let Tillie try those beans and if she didn't like them, she could have mine.

I took my first bite, and it was just what I ordered: chicken, rice and beans. I'm sorry I can't give a more apt description, but there's really nothing more to say about it. Sure, the meal was tasty, but I wouldn't be submitting it for a chicken, rice and black beans contest! Tillie only ate a few bites of her food. The beans didn't bother her, it was just a matter of not really wanting to eat at the time and probably being a little too captivated by the match. I gave her a bite of chicken, which she didn't dig—as evidenced by her passing the chewed-up morsel back to me.

I finished up my plate, and asked to get her food wrapped up to go and for the check.

Despite the experience being pretty no-frills, I think we would go there again: A $5 plate is always hard to pass up! And there was plenty of space to sit at there. Maybe we can make it back during the World Cup as Tillie seems to enjoy it when a good match is on. (Or I could just fire up the DVR and let her watch that old Dora the Explorer soccer episode we have!)