Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

Articles > Food & Drink

June 2004 Cuban Corner

Food is plentiful, homey, and cheap.

The wall at this strip-mall storefront is a who's who of Cuban luminaries, from household names like Gloria Estefan to lesser knowns like Nils Diaz, head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Where there aren't photos and placards, vivid murals of beach scenes and palm trees cover the walls.

Food is plentiful, homey, and cheap. Start with an empanada of cheese and green olives, ham croquettes, or yucca fritters. Stars of the menu are fork-tender cubes of pork sautéed with thinly sliced red onion, green olives, and pimentos; ropa vieja in dark meaty gravy; a cumin-scented sauté of red snapper filets; and the Cubano sandwich. Rice and garlic-scented black beans are worthy accompaniments, and fried plantains add a jolt of sweetness. For dessert, go exotic with guava and cream cheese; for comfort with sweet rice pudding; or lush with a thick mango milkshake. And remember, Cuban cigars may be banned in the United States, but Hatuey beer—now distributed in Baltimore—is a Cuban treasure worth trying.

Most Popular on Washingtonian

Here's a Map Showing Dozens of Washington's Rooftop Bars

6 Myths About Tipping in Restaurants

“Life Below Zero’s” Andy Bassich on Why He Moved From Washington to Rural Alaska

The 25 Best Inexpensive Restaurants in Washington

Amazon Prime and Uber Are Changing the Map of Your City

Meet the Musicians Who Are Driving Skadden, Arps Bonkers

20 Great Walks Around Washington, DC

Tommy Caldwell on the Dawn Wall, Dean Potter, and the Daring Life of Climbers

Things to Do in DC This Weekend May 28-31: William Shatner, Chuck Palahniuk, and a Spanish Bash