Serving authentic Cuban food in Gainesville since 2004, we are a full service restaurant with a relaxed family atmosphere. Enjoy a beer or our house sangria imported from Spain while listening to Latin music playing in the background. We offer pressed sandwiches on Cuban bread, hot entrees, homemade desserts & coffee
Penn Station's interior, rife with dark hardwood paneling, could have been carved from the trunk of an enormous redwood. Within that space and beneath the glow of old-fashioned street lamps, taste buds globetrot by way of American-style burgers, Italian shrimp scampi, and a full Cuban menu outlining such delights as seafood paella and lime-infused chicken. While two-handing a specialty sandwich named for North Carolina's regal mountains, guests can peruse Penn Station's many antique décor pieces such as a wall-mounted carriage wheel, ceramic boots, and the original wooden flippers from Columbus's voyage across the Atlantic.
At Cocina Latin American Fusion, sweet flavors tickle the tongue just as often as fiery ones cause it to tingle. Fruit-based marinades flavor several meats, such as grilled jumbo shrimp in house lime sauce, a guava barbecue-glazed pork chop, and mango chicken, which is prepared by finding and cracking open a perfectly egg-shaped mango. The menu derives its dishes from several countries—paella entrees evoke the tastes of Spain, for example, whereas a chili-dusted sirloin steak boasts a Cuban mojo sauce. Regardless of their origins, each seafood, chicken, and beef specialty pairs well with sides of sweet plantains. And on Sundays, patrons can intersperse bites of brunch plates with chilled sips of Morisonado, a mix of orange juice, milk, and cinnamon.
The live entertainment on weekends mirrors the diversity of the restaurant's cuisine. On Fridays, Latin jazz lilts through the space. Saturdays feature piano performances, and guitarists take the stage on Sundays to strum Spanish tunes.
Havana-Jax Café in the Arlington section of Jacksonville is an authentic Cuban restaurant, where the staff speaks fluent English and Spanish and caters to both regulars and newcomers looking for the delicious Cuban food. With ochre walls, jade and burgundy tablecloths and large booths, Havana-Jax is as colorful to look at as the menu is to eat. A large center bar keeps things lively, while dishes like ropa vieja, paella and palomilla steak – a marinated and seared Angus steak, grilled with onions – draw in the hungry set. Simpler desserts include flan, rice pudding and egg custard, making for a well-rounded meal that’s popular with the local neighborhood, while still drawing visitors looking to enjoy the long-time staff and quality food.
The cooks at El Ranchito cobble together an expansive menu of authentic dishes that draw on Colombian, Cuban, and Mexican culinary traditions. Friends and families can warm up their taste buds beside the spicy fires of six empanadas Columbiana ($4.99), each filled with a special blend of beef and exotic spices ($4.99). Scuba gear and SPF 30 sour cream are not required to enjoy the crispy, Colombian-style tilapia of the mojarra frita ($12.99), though palates may benefit from juggling lessons before they attempt to handle the diverse flavors of sirloin, pork sausage, pork rinds, and plantains in the traditional Colombian bandeja paisa ($12.99). Plates of seasoned carne asada ($9.99) allow diners to relive past visits to Mexico without glancing down at their eagle-and-snake tattoos, while the fresh-roasted pork of the Cuban lechon asado with mojo sauce ($8.99) testifies to the untold treasures of Caribbean cuisine.
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.