With its ever-changing coordinates and conspicuous absence from the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” Cuba is one of the more difficult to locate Caribbean nations. Dig into this enigma with a fork, knife, and today’s Groupon: for $15, you get a Cuban dinner for two at Gusto Cuban Café in Ralston (up to a $53 total value). Each dinner includes the following:
- Choice of any appetizer $7 or less.
- $30 worth of anything on the menu. Sandwiches and entrees range from $8.99 to $17.99.
- Two mojitos (an $8 value each)<p>
The friendly staff at Gusto populates a mouthwatering menu with authentic Cuban cuisine in a casual, island-inspired atmosphere. Chef and owner Roberto Meireles uses only fresh ingredients in all of the café’s offerings, including starters such as the ham-and-chicken croquettes ($5.25) and fried yucca strips ($4.99). Dining duos sip refreshing mojitos while enjoying flavorful entrees, such as the roasted pork in mojo sauce ($15.99), or succulent sandwiches including the media noche ($8.99), which layers ham, roasted pork, cheese, mustard, and pickles on pressed bread. The short shelf life of delicate regional desserts, such as the chocolate Flantastico ($10) or tres leches cake ($8.50), creates a perfectly plausible excuse for eating the entire dish without taking a breath or blinking. The festive eatery hosts live music on weekends, creating a lively space for enjoying casual meals among family, coworkers, or co-crossword-puzzle enthusiasts.
Gusto Cuban Cafe
Owners and chefs Roberto and Ana Meireles pile plates high with meticulously crafted dishes of beef, pork, poultry, and seafood made to order from fresh ingredients and traditional spices. Fried plantains, tropical fruit shakes, and Cuban sodas serve as plane tickets for the palate as lush foliage, cabana decor, and a working baggage claim evoke Caribbean climes. Libations from a brightly colored bar balance the subtle spice of the restaurant's signature red Cuban creole sauce. Gusto Cuban Cafe's patio bustles during the warmer months, and salsa dancing on weekends, like getting stuck on a slide, gives people an excuse to shake their hips.