Eating international fare locally eliminates the woes associated with transatlantic travel, such as jet lag and oar splinters. Stamp your palate’s passport with today’s Groupon to Cafe Piquet in Bellaire. Choose between the following options:
For $10, you get $20 worth of Cuban fare for lunch or dinner.<p>
For $25, you get $50 worth of carryout Cuban fare off the catering menu.<p>
Cafe Piquet evokes the charm of a Caribbean eatery with its authentically Cuban menu, earning the café the 2009 award for Best Cuban Restaurant from the Houston Press. Cooks fill the sandwich de policia with handfuls of tender pork and ripe plantains ($6.95). Creole shrimp lounge alongisde white rice ($15.95), while the camarones enchilados inundates a field of white rice with cuban shrimp creole and green plantains ($15.95). Braced by two rows of Doric columns, the well-lit dining room accommodates guests atop its tiled floors, and the covered patio boasts stately stone railings as well as access to the restaurant’s supply of imported Cuban breeze.
In addition to its dine-in offerings, Cafe Piquet can also help to facilitate family gatherings, special events, and prearranged food fights with its catering services. Platters of cuban sandwiches groan under the weight of pulled pork, swiss cheese, and smoked slices of ham ($41.65 for seven sandwiches). The pernil asado con mojo’s roasted pork arrives slathered in a fragrant garlic sauce ($179.25) and, like the ropa vieja catering package, it feeds up to 15 people or one hungry black hole. Appetizers such as mini stuffed potatoes ($38.97 for three dozen) and mini empanadas ($32.97 for three dozen) are also available.
Though the imperial Doric columns inside Cafe Piquet aren't indicative of the cuisine's origins, the pictures and artifacts on the walls—which range from movie-star portraits to framed bills of currency—all pay homage to Cuba. The authentic decor echoes the traditional recipes in the family-owned kitchen. There, chefs layer swiss cheese, ham, pork, mustard, and pickles onto medianoche sandwiches that helped the restaurant win the 2009 Houston Press award for Best Cuban Restaurant. The paper deemed the sandwiches "easily the best in the city," and commented on the menu’s knack for drawing crowds of native Cubans with its recipes.
Those recipes include plates of grilled red snapper, pork chops, and sirloin steak that arrive with sides of plantains and yucca, imbued with flavor from garlic and creole sauces. After devouring the dishes, full visitors who have become sleepy can conclude meals with cups of cuban coffee.