Since moving to the valley there has always been one genre of food I couldn’t find much of. Cuban food was difficult to find and having spent my youth in Miami I was constantly seeking it out. I did finally find Havana Café and really enjoyed my meals there but of course they ended up closing. This left me yet again without any source to satisfy my cravings. Finally after some exhaustive research I came upon Cuban Foods Bakery & Restaurant in the west valley.
I judge a good Cuban restaurant by their Cubano sandwich, Ropa Vieja, and their café con Leche. So that is exactly what I ordered and I walked away very satisfied. Let’s start with the classic Cuban sandwich which is made with Cuban bread, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard and then pressed. I have had many Cubano type sandwiches before but the bread and the pressing are what make the true Cubano sandwich. Cuban bread may look like Italian or French bread but it is very distinct in its flavor makes the difference. This sandwich was in fact very authentic and every bite was enjoyable and worth the journey. Next up was the Ropa Vieja or basically shredded beef simmered in a tomato sauce with onions and peppers along with sides of black beans and rice. This again hit all the flavor notes from my childhood and even though I was attempting to avoid rice these days, it was worth it as the rice and black beans were perfect with the tomato flavors in the beef. Last but not least, the café con Leche was perfect. These days are usually full of skinny macchiatos and sugar free syrups but when trying out Cuban coffee you have to go back to basics. For a real jolt you can always try your hand at the real stuff, straight Café Cubano. This stuff is thicker than normal espresso because it is extremely concentrated. As a kid in high school my friends would stop by the local Cuban coffee stop before class and bring it for our friends in the parking lot before we went in to take finals. If you were up late studying this would keep you going all morning long.
It is clear to me that when it comes to Cuban food in the valley, there is nothing more authentic than this restaurant. If you haven’t tried Cuban food before this is definitely a great place to try it out. It will make you start thinking about taking a trip to Miami and trying practically any place in Little Havana.
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