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Leon de oro

Leon de Oro, East Williamsburg
Vladimir Merisca

When it comes to Brooklyn eateries, one of its many attractive features is the fusion restaurant. East Williamsburg has a bustling community of Asian, Latin and Caribbean locals, which lends itself to multi-ethnic dining options. Leon De Oro (Golden Lion) is the perfect fit for what local diners seek. It boasts a Chinese-American and Spanish menu that rivals many high-end restaurants throughout the city without the high-end prices.

Leon de Oro has the aesthetics of an old bank building on the outside, adorned with two concrete columns at the front entrance. Inside you have the features of a conventional neighborhood diner to match its eclectic menu. When you walk in there’s usually a friendly face to greet and seat you right away. If it gets crowded you won’t wait too long for a spot as people weave in and out of there. It’s particularly popular on weekdays with the after-work crowd.

The menu is in both Spanish and English and the portions are generous. You can get your fill of neighborhood favorites like a hearty beef soup, steak with fried Plantains, Mofongo Criollo (pounded fried plantain with bits of savory pork), or fried liver steak. The pork fried rice merits special attention here because it is most beloved by LDO patrons. If you try it you’ll know why.

Meat-eaters can’t go wrong here. If you have an affinity for fried foods and pork, which begs for you to sink your teeth into the well-seasoned fried pork chops at least once. There’s nothing like it and it works well with just about anything else on the menu.

For smaller meals, there is a selection of assorted meat-filled tortillas to appease your appetite. They also have omelets for the breakfast crowd. Lunch specials are priced at a reasonable $6.50 (tax included) and include familiar Asian dishes like General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork and Baby Shrimp with Deviled Sauce. These classic dishes are all served with plain fried rice and sweet or green plantains.

Leon De Oro is a great way to dissolve hunger pangs and please your budget.