The first hint that you've entered Argentinean/Uruguayan territory is the telephone pole on the corner of Corona Avenue and Junction Boulevard. It's painted blue and white, the colors of the flags of both countries. The second hint? El Gauchito: a butcher/restaurant. Don't be fooled by the seemingly small spot. Inside you'll find enough Argentinean goods to make any hardened expat or recent tourist ecstatic.
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In 1932, Ninth Avenue in Manhattan was something of an outdoor food mall, populated by butchers, fruit and vegetable stands, sweets shops and bakeries. Esposito's Pork Shop, at the corner of Ninth and 38th, has been a bustling neighborhood institution since it opened that year, and today is run by a third generation of Espositos.
At the newish 4505 shop, luscious cuts of beef and pork sit alongside cured slabs of bacon, ham hock, and fat back. Shoppers sample tongue pastrami while examining towering terrines. Freezer cases feature duck chili along with rendered duck fat; there are tubs of dog food destined for some seriously lucky pups.