Cuba de Ayer

15446 Old Columbia Pike
Burtonsville, MD 20866


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

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

Cheap Eats 2011: Cuba de Ayer

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.