In New York, it isn't hard to find typical food from three of Ecuador's four principal geographic regions.
Often the cuisine of La Costa, the lowlands bordering the Pacific Ocean, to the west, and La Sierra, the highlands along the Andean spine, which runs north-south through the center of the country, can be found on the same menu; a few restaurants add dishes from El Oriente, the Amazonian rainforest to the east. (If you ever hear word of locally available chow from the Galápagos, pass it along!)
But twice now — the first time was in Jackson Heights — I've seen "Austro" in the name of an eatery where Spanish, not English or German, is the principal language. This appears to be an appeal to Ecuadorians from that broad plateau in the country's south. Cuenca, the Austro's largest city, also lends its name to at least one New York restaurant.
If any Eating In Translation reader can elaborate on the distinctions between these two seeming variations on cuisine from La Sierra — from the Andes and from the Austro — please do.
Sabor del Austro Restaurant
580 Seneca Ave. (Menahan-Grove Sts.), Ridgewood, Queens