Hours: Lunch, Dinner: seven days
Neighborhood cafe serving authentic Cuban cuisine. Knowing a little Spanish would be helpful.
At this textbook neighborhood cafe, folks walking in seem to know those working the counter; customers just about walk into the kitchen, and staff sit at tables to chat. The food is simple, satisfying, and well prepared. An excellent Cuban custom is to begin with warm bread prespread with butter. Ham croquetas, splayed in a pool of thick yellow mayo, are wonderfully simple, with a crisp outer shell. Yuca comes as a fluffy mound splashed with pure white garlic sauce, and the delicate bacalao, salt cod, is outstanding in a light tomato sauce. The Cuban specialty ropa vieja is understandably very popular, but our favorite was a steak preparation called vaca frita (literally, fried cow), a tangle of crisp beef hash and onions complemented by the moist sweetness of ripe platanos.