Saturday, January 7th, 2023:
Genesis Ecuadorian Restaurant
Soda, Soup, and Sea Bass

Genesis is the origin or coming into being of something.  It’s also the first book of the Old Testament, the name of a popular English rock band, a health insurance plan, and the name of a remarkable Ecuadorian restaurant in Washington Heights.  I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m going to focus on the latter of the four.


Genesis Ecuadorian Restaurant is located on W. 207th St. between Sherman and Post Avenues.  It’s your typical “Mom’n’Pop” establishment; it’s a cozy space where you can eat and relax.  There isn’t much to say about the décor.  The drab orange painted walls have prints of South American landscapes hung on them.  There’s a television mounted up for all the soccer and Telenovela fans to watch and 10 to 12 tables throughout the space. What Genesis lacks in décor, it makes up with delicious fare!


The clientele is a diverse cross-section of Washington Heights/Inwood’s diverse population.  I find the presence of their Ecuadorian patrons very reassuring! I’ve asked several of them if they thought Genesis was a good restaurant, and they all unanimously agreed.  That endorsement speaks volumes and confirms that Genesis is a go-to spot for Ecuadorian cuisine.


Genesis has a massive menu, separated into: Appetizers, Meat, Seafood, Soups, Ceviches, Platos Tipicos, Salads, and a few other categories. Genesis’s seafood, soups, and platos tipicos are my favorite sections; I tend to order from those sections the most.

Before I ordered my food, I asked my server for a bottle of “Tropical”, the national soda of Ecuador.  Tropical is a delicious artificially flavored bright red strawberry soda.  It tastes like those “old time” strawberry hard candies you can buy at an old-fashioned candy store.  Occasionally, the sweetness can be a bit harsh, so I make sure to drink it with a lot of ice.  The pride of Ecuador, I’m told, this soda out sells Coca-Cola and other American sodas by a large margin.

As I enjoyed my Tropical, I asked my server if it was too late in the evening to order my favorite appetizer. She reassured me that it would be fine.  Genesis’s wait staff is welcoming, helpful, and attentive.  They make an already laid-back atmosphere much more homey and comfortable.

Of all of Genesis’s appetizers, my favorite is the Ayaca!  An Ayaca is a corn tamal stuffed with chicken, vegetables, raisins, and hard-boiled eggs. It’s wrapped in a plantain leaf and boiled for an hour. 

My Ayaca was cooked to perfection! The masa (corn meal dough) was slightly sweet, moist, and delicious.  The chicken inside was soft, savory, and well seasoned.  The hard-boiled eggs imparted an earthy flavor to the dish.  The vegetables (mostly peas, potatoes, and onions) added an extra sweetness and savory flavor that complemented the chicken.  I also enjoyed how the potatoes and onions added some chewy texture to the dish.

With my appetite sufficiently stimulated, I decided to order the Sopa de Bola, one of Ecuador’s most commonly eaten soups.  Sopa de Bola features a large plantain dumpling (bola), corn, cilantro, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, peas, and shredded beef. 

The broth was rich and packed with amazing flavors. The generous sprinkling of cilantro on top added a wonderful herbal flavor to the creamy broth.  The bola was soft and full of that incredible starchy plantain flavor.  The vegetables were plentiful, soft, and delicious.  The shredded beef was fork tender and wonderfully fatty.  This soup is always unbelievable; it's packed with complex flavors that meld together seamlessly.

Next, I ordered the Corvina Frita (Fried Sea Bass) with rice and beans. The fish was delicious and brilliantly prepared.  I love it when fried fish is crispy on the outside and flaky and moist on the inside.  It isn’t easy to fry a fish and keep it from becoming a soggy oily mess.  The cooks at Genesis know how to prepare a fish that is worthy of praise.

The rice and beans were mediocre at best.  The rice was a bit dry and bland.  The stewed beans tasted overcooked and smoky.  I think they had been sitting in a pot under heat for too long.  They weren’t burned, just a little over done.

Genesis is the origin or coming into being of something.  I hope your visit to Genesis is the genesis of your love of Ecuadorian food.  I know you won’t regret the visit. 

Genesis Ecuadorian Restaurant

538 W 207th St.

New York, NY 10034

Phone:(212) 942-1222