Tomasita’s head chef, Mike Alvarez, concocts a menu by melding traditional Cuban flavors with influences of Spanish and Canary Islands cuisines, served up in a cozy, bistro setting. Couples may begin dining excursions or timed food fights by using forks to harpoon tender calamari dusted in breading and accompanied by lime and garlic aioli. Choose two entrees (up to $12.99 each), such as the signature slow-roasted pork, marinated for 24 hours and dressed in a suit of mojo with black-bean lapels. Pollo tropical dinners conga line sprite flavors across lips, while Tomasita’s surf menu splashes mouth shores with gambas al ajillos—a mix of large white shrimp, garlic, white wine, and tomato. Dining duos may cool throat canals with swigs of house red or white sangria procured from a family recipe of fresh fruit, cinnamon, and tattletales.
The chefs and staff of Maria Bonita are eager to share. They want to introduce others to the flavors of Mexico and Cuba and the passion they have for fresh ingredients. Luckily, most visitors don't take much convincing. Cuervo and Patron tequilas swirl with amaretto, Grand Marnier, brandy, and fruit to create more than ten different margaritas, all of which are kept cool with ice, which is flavorless. The lineup of cervezas complement their signature queso fundido or fajitas fabulosas. Cuban entrees sail to tables alongside yuca, sweet plantains, or tostones, which take a supporting role to slow-roasted, marinated pork, stewed and shredded flank steak, or grilled fish topped with caramelized onions. The restaurant also serves Churrasco, Parrillada, and Mofongo dishes.
Family owned and operated, Tino's melts warm, homey vibes over each plate of fresh Cuban cuisine. The restaurant serves classic pressed sandwiches and traditional entrees, as well as tongue-piquing appetizers such as stuffed potato balls with savory beef filling ($1.45). Scoot into a booth and tear into a toasty ham-and-swiss cuban ($6.75), or dip your fork into a heaping pile of ropa vieja, shredded beef in rich Spanish sauce ($7.45). If you want to train to be a better eater, surfer, and multitasker all at once, pull up a bar stool and catch waves of free WiFi as you nosh. Tino's serves all three meals daily.
The fact that the owners of Numero Uno Cuban Restaurant chose a location with a dining room that seats up to 72 people is no coincidence. Embracing their Cuban heritage, they and their kitchen staff put an emphasis on family-style dining, showcasing a cuisine famous for tender, grilled meats, roast chicken, and stewed seafood. Each dish is an explosion of color and flavor, with shredded ropa vieja mingling with tomato and green peppers, and sides of earthy black beans or saffron-tinged yellow rice accenting entrees. Seafood staples such as whole fried snapper and lobster stew come in single or party-sized servings with the restaurant's catering services.
Roberto's Little Havana prepares a menu of authentic Cuban provender whose high-piled portions test the structural integrity of tabletops. Foodies kick off tug-of-war battles over starters such as a sextet of jumbo shrimp deep-fried in coconut batter ($7.95), or green plantains upholstered with shredded beef ($6.95). Entrees, each of which struts to tables arm-in-arm with rice, beans, soup, or plantains, include tender pork medallions sautéed in wine and mushrooms ($14.95) and garlic-infused flank steak grilled over an open flame ($16.95). Dinner companions sit around pitchers of fruit-filled sangria and discuss the differences between Desi Arnaz and his television persona, Lucille Ball.
Cultivating familial vibes is easy for chef Luis, as his clan joins him in the kitchen daily. Blanca, Tracie, Arleen, and the rest of the Las Palmas entourage invite patrons to taste the tropics through a diverse menu of authentic Cuban dishes. Sautéed chicken, pork, and ham insulate an array of pressed cuban sandwiches served with fries that are the perfect size for mending holes in bowling balls. Entrees flaunt piles of slow-cooked shredded steak as well as fresh, pan-seared fish flanked by sides such as sweet plantains, black beans, and yucca.