We've visited Margon before, but now with Cafe Edison gone, it may the only affordable, authentic, local restaurant left in Times Square. It's certainly worth visiting again--and again.
Margon is an old-school Cuban restaurant, and you can find it at 136 W. 46th St.
Back in 2008, Getty Rivas told me how his father came from the Dominican Republic and first worked in the restaurant as a dishwasher. In 1987, after Margon had moved into its current spot, a former go-go bar, Mr. Rivas took over.
The hopping little place continues to be managed and staffed completely by the Rivas
family--"aunts, uncles, cousins..."--17 family members in total. They
have since added their own Dominican flavors to the Cuban dishes.
You can sit at the small lunch counter at the front, or head to the steam tables in back. Take an orange tray and the server fills your plates with beans, rice, plantains, roast chicken, beef stew.
They also make Cubano sandwiches and a deliciously frothy morir sonando, which tastes like a creamsicle and means "to die dreaming."
Margon is located in one of a cluster of small buildings that hark back to an older Times Square and an older city. They look out of place, just a block off the tourist-clogged corpo-Disneyland of glass towers and Brobdingnagian TV screens. It is a relief to arrive here. It feels like an oasis.
It's a place of second-story businesses. I am partial to the jumble of signage outside the barber shop. You can also sell your gold and diamonds.