>> Monday, September 14, 2009
LATIN CUBANITA HAS CLOSEDLATIN CUBANITA
72-34 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Latin Cubanita has been growing in Queens. They in fact just opened an outpost in the Queens Center Mall food court. Still, why go there when we have one of the first of them right down the block? And so I decided to try this poquito place for lunch over the course of a couple weeks. I can't say that I was terribly blown away. Yelp reviews are hit or miss, but lean toward the miss. I will be the first to say that no one should rely on this post for too much info since I did not get to try as much of the food as I had wanted to.
Latin Cubanita is so small that eating here is actually worse that eating outside. Take my advice and schlep over to Station Square and sit on the benches under the trees. At least there's fresh air and no one will trip over your bag. But space aside, the food here is pretty good. Or at least halfway decent, given the price. At its heart, Cubanita is a sandwich/to-go place, but they do have entree dishes like pork chops, steak and onions, and chicken, with traditional rice, beans, and plantain sides. Just my luck I couldn't try them.
I've only been here for lunch thus far and when I tried to get an actual meal, I was denied the privilege. The first time I went, I tried the Cuban, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Ham, cheese, toasted bread. This was not a complex lunch, but it seemed that the prep time was inordinately long. Like a solid fifteen minutes. On trip number two, I ordered the Media Noche Sandwich, which, it turns out, is the same thing as a Cuban, just on different bread. Don't ask me what kind of bread, I really didn't pay that much attention. Both sandwiches were quite tasty.
So far, I had had two Cubans. I wanted something different. So I ordered Chuletas Fritas, a fried pork-chop dish, but was told that they were out of pork. Okay, how about the Bisec Empanizado? Nope, nothing fried today is available, I was told. That killed half the menu. Can I have the Croquetas Preparadas, the grilled ham croquetes? My ignorance became apparent when I was informed that even this grilled ham dish was also fried. Ultimately, I found myself eating the Lechon, a roast pork sandwich. This is a pork lover's delight. No veggies or mayo to get in the way. Just pork and bread. For the record, and maybe this is my being raised on Subway, I like my sandwiches a bit more complex. Still, the pork was very tender and juicy and the bread wasn't too hard or too soft. I guess it was good since I ate the whole thing, but I think that Quiznos is more likely to get my sandwich money next time.
Expect to spend $5-$8 per sandwich and $10-$13 per entree. And if you ever get to try the entrees, let me know what they're like.