Cheap Eats 2011: Cuba de Ayer
Comments () | Published August 18, 2011
Cheap Eats 2012 Cheap Eats 2010 Cheap Eats 2011

Cuba de Ayer
Address: 15446 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866
Phone: 301-476-9622
Neighborhood: Burtonsville
Cuisines: South American, Cuban
Opening Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 11:30 AM to 10 PM, and Sunday 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Ham croquettes; beef empanadas; vaca frita; ropa vieja; masitas; picadillo; Cubano sandwich; plantains; black beans and rice; tres leches cake.
Price Details: Appetizers $2 to $7, entrées $8 to $15.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Good for Groups

Cuban food is often referred to as abuelita's, or grandmother's, food. At its best, it's a hearty, lovingly prepared cuisine, and this lively little cafe is right not to fancy it up--the name refers to the Cuba of yesterday.

Owners William and Jessica Rodriguez have a taste for the dramatic--ornately framed prints of old Havana adorn oxblood-red walls, lending the room the air of a supper club--but the food brims with the charms of great home cooking. The best dishes, such as the ground-beef-and-potato-hash picadillo, the warm, crunchy ham croquetas, and the chicken soup with rough-cut veggies and hunks of meat, have a soulful simplicity.

Were you to make a meal only of rice and black beans, you wouldn't go home unsatisfied. They're glorious.

Also good: Shrimp in garlic sauce; lechon asado, sliced roast pork with sautéed onions; Cubano sandwich; tres leches cake.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/18/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews