Carmen’s Cuban Café

IMG_5286Papas Rellenas – Carmen’s Cuban Café

Dark lighting inside this restaurant, to the point where I felt like I had walked into a club instead of a restaurant. Very nice waiters who have a great sense of humor and speak Spanish. I was allowed to sample a couple different wines before selecting Tempranillo (red wine with a hint of sweetness). Only 3 small slices of complimentary garlic bread, tasted alright, not the best and the slices were smaller than what I’m familiar with.

For appetizers, I had Papas Rellenas — 2 humongous breaded potatoes stuffed with ground beef, $5.95. Seriously, they are about the size of a fist! Great, but very filling. I’d advise to cut them open and wait a bit to let the inside cool enough to eat. Also tried Ceviche — mix of fish and shrimp in a chilled citrus sauce, $7.95. Tons of tiny shrimp, but I’ve never been a huge fan of ceviche. This was tough to finish because the entree is very filling. Entrees come with a choice of white or yellow rice, red or black beans, and plantains or yuca. I had Cherna — grouper served with a choice of havanero, ajilo, or mango sauce (I chose mango sauce), $16.95. I selected yellow rice, black beans, and steamed yuca (can also be fried) for my sides. Was not a fan of the fish because it was super tough and hard to chew, even though it was drenched in sauce. The sauce was alright. What I loved most is actually the black beans — just awesome! I don’t know how yuca is supposed to be made, but the steamed yuca seemed like they were steamed too long because they were soggy and lacking in taste. Also, the yellow rice tasted fantastic when mixed with the black beans! 

Overall, this place is okay. It’s odd to enjoy the sides more than the main course attraction, but the food is definitely filling — in fact, I had no more room left for dessert! Plus, the customer service is spectacular!

 

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