Cheap Eats 2015: Cuba de Ayer

Where we go for our favorite roast pork.
Cheap Eats 2015: Cuba de Ayer
Mojitos on the move at Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Here’s a quick tip for rounding up a party in a hurry: Just mention that you’ve found a great Cuban place and watch the haters come out in droves. “Nah, nothing like my mami’s food,” they’ll sniff. Or “Can’t touch Miami.” Don’t listen to them: The long-simmered black beans ring true, the twice-cooked vaca frita (beef that’s first braised, then shredded and fried) is lacy and crisp, and that garlicky lechon, the classic Cuban roast pork, is worth breaking a diet for—tender as a yearning ballad.

Cuisine: Cuban

Where you can get it: 15446 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville; 301-476-9622

Also good: Picadillo, a hash of beef, olives, potatoes, and raisins; ham croquetas; tres leches cake.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.