Rice, Beans, and Cubanos


Jackson Monge

Along with the different foods, The Cuban Kitchen offers new and different types of drinks.

Jackson Monge, Staff Writer

Grab your cigars and your Cubanos, because this review is all about The Cuban Kitchen.

For me, the food at The Cuban Kitchen tasted similar to what my Nicaraguan abuelita would cook, but at the same time, very different. When I first walked in, I was blasted with the amazing smell of black beans, chicken, and platanitos.

The Cuban food actually showed how beautiful simple can be. Cuba is a Communist country, and the population must make do with what they can. Thus the Cuban cuisine was born similar to many other Latin American countries. They must make do with relatively cheap ingredients, and the end product was reminiscent of an edible Picasso, so many flavors exploding in your mouth at once. What should have been chaos was a wonderful collage of tastes.

A delicious plate of Cuban black beans and rice.
Jackson Monge
This plate of Cuban black beans and rice was delicious.

For those who don’t know, platanitos are a traditional Latin American snack consisting of fried, or grilled plantains. The Cuban kitchen grilled their platanitos, keeping them nice and sweet, but also a little charred and smoky.

The Cubano sandwich brought tears to my eyes. It was a simple sandwich, but bursting with flavor. A Cubano sandwich is a beautiful stack of sweet honey ham, pulled pork, mojo sauce, swiss cheese, and pickles on a French baguette. The pickle balanced the sweetness from the cheese and ham, creating a flavor that evoked pure euphoria.  It was amazing to think that so much could be done with such simple ingredients. And that is the beauty of Latin American foods.

Rest In Piece, Cubano. He was eaten too quick to be properly photographed.
Jackson Monge                                                                                                           Rest In Piece, Cubano. He was eaten too quickly to be properly photographed.

The chicken and mojo were out of this world, as well. The marinated chicken was so tender and flavorful that it needs to be in an art display.

The beans weren’t the regular ones you’d find in a can. They bursted with flavor, not blandness. The rice was overflowing with flavor as well.

You can get a relatively cheap, but amazing lunch or dinner at The Cuban Kitchen. Most of the dishes were around $9, and some came with a side of beans or salad. I definitely recommend the Cubano and Mojito chicken.  I also praise the Lechon (Cuban Pork).

They had seating both outdoors and indoors; however, the outdoor seating was my only problem. The umbrellas above the tables sat a little low and made it hard to go through. They also made it a little hard to not drop some rice or your pack of mojo sauce. That’s the only negative thing I found when I ate at The Cuban Kitchen. Aside from that one downside, everything was beyond my expectations.

Sometimes the best food does not come from the fanciest, biggest, or most expensive restaurants. It comes from the places you won’t notice at first, and that is what I discovered at The Cuban Kitchen.