Being a former south Florida resident, I was eager to try authentic Cuban food here in Chucktown. During an early November visit a few days after opening, a friend and I opted to try the very basic of sandwiches from the menu-a Cubano and a Media Noche. described on the menu as being "Filled with lots of ham, pork and Swiss cheese, toppled with pickles and mustard on a warm crusted Cuban bread" (the Media Noche is served on a sweet bread). What we received was ice cold non-crusty bread with very little cold ham and cold pork topped with equally cold CHEDDAR cheese. When we questioned the server about the preparation of our sandwiches, she relayed our dismay to whom I assumed was the owner. He came out to the table and told us they were out of Swiss cheese so they used cheddar. There was no explanation for the cold meat and non-crusty bread. He offered to prepare another Cubano for me to-go. Against my better judgement at that point, I agreed. Amazingly this to go version had Swiss cheese (I was confused at this point. Perhaps the Swiss cheese truck had just made a delivery?) but was still ice cold. While I do not claim to be an expert in Cuban cuisine I have eaten many Cubano's over the years and have never encountered such a disappointing version. I wish it could be attributed to early opening kinks to work out, but using cheddar cheese instead of the traditional swiss, and not hot pressing the sandwich to warm it thoroughly and create the promised "crusty bread" is unforgiveable. How you could be out of such an integral ingredient as the proper cheese at lunch time is puzzling. Oh, and don't even ask about the guava and cheese filled pastries! Equally as disappointing.
If the pizza sucks, at least you can get a really good beer next door at Coleman Public House, that is unless Benny screws up the already space challenged parking lot. BTW CiaCulinaryKid, while the Brooklyn bridge location may be the original, Grimaldi's is based in Scottsdale.
BACCO Italian Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant has a house-made Nutella liqueur that is incredible!
Maybe it is a good thing the chef walked. Hopefully he is heading to Calle Ocho in Miami or Ybor City to see firsthand what real Cuban food consists of. First off, who decided tacos are Cuban? Never seen them ever on a Cuban restaurant menu, and I've been to many over the years. Where is the Ropa Vieja? Boliche? Vaca Fritas? Masistas or croquetas? Also, most customers don't care if you make your own ginger beer (where does this fit in Cuban theme?) or tonic. Just give some good service, hot authentic food and cold drinks, and appreciate that customers are frequenting your establishment. Service was marginal at best on my visit, not to mention the kitchen being out of far too many menu items. Most new places need some time to work out the kinks-this place wasn't ready to open.
Can't we just expect, and get, a great meal without having to know the names of farmers and fishermen and other non pertinent info such as their favorite color, zodiac sign and life story in general? Enough already. Just plate the damn food and let us enjoy it.
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