January 27, 2008

Top 4 Cuban Restaurants in the US

Filed under: restaurants — admin @ 12:50 pm
  1. Casa Lario’s 7705 W Flagler St., Miami
    A Miami Cuban food institution, it was the touchstone from the late 80’s until the late 90’s when the quality dropped off due to changes in management and staff. I understand the original owners are back and I can attest that the food is back to its previous level of excellence. Their style of preparation and rationing of the side dishes, quality of ingredients, bread, etc is very close to what I grew up eating and thus, try to cook today. Do not confuse this location with the one on Ocean Drive (different owners).
  2. Las Culebrinas 4700 W Flagler St, Miami
    I think Ropa Vieja con Camarones or Carne de Puerco con Pure de Aguacate would have been met with a “┬┐Que QUE?” and a hard cockeye or two were it ever to appear at a family meal. That said, this food is Cuban at its core with some nice, perhaps evolutionary, touches. They still have all the staples, so don’t be afraid.
  3. Porto’s Bakery 3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California
    The original Porto’s is the most consistently packed Cuban bakery I have ever been to (yes, Gilbert’s included). This, the 2nd Porto’s location, has both a bakery and a restaurant. Delicious Cuban, and Pan con Bistec sandwiches, great mariquitas and mojito. Also, a full on Cuban bakery with pastelitos, croquetas, papas rellenas, palitroque, empanadas and Quincea├▒era cakes with neon-pink-roses frosting. All this in a high ceiling, church-like building that seats close to 200 or so.
  4. My apartment, or yours or La casa de tu Vieja
    The truth is, I’ve had the BEST cuban food in the homes of my family, friends and acquaintances. I mean, how do you convey what your grandmother’s Bistec en Cazuela tasted like to a staff of cooks?

January 21, 2008

Zen and the heart of Rice Cooking

Filed under: philosophy,rice — Jose @ 9:28 pm

You’d be hard pressed to find a more Zen kitchen appliance than the rice cooker. To power it on, you plug it in . To cook, you press the one and only option available. Seems pretty straight forward eh?. If you believe you can just toss some rice and water in there and get some tasty rice in 15 minutes, well, you’d be a straight fool.

Status Quo



January 10, 2008

Quick Cuban Black Beans for 2

Filed under: beans,sides — Jose @ 11:37 pm

Feliz nuevo ano, Consorte” says my friend Nikita. We chit-chat about the Holiday and he mentions he’d like to come by to say Hello. I’d just put some water to boil in my plans for a chicken soup using last night’s leftover chicken, so I mention “Si, tengo una sopita pa’ el almuerzo.


This quickly becomes a full on meal and dammit to hell, where can I get some Cuban bread! Sadly there is no such thing in my city by the bay, but there is a half hour to make black beans to go with my leftover rice.



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