photo: Misty Tosh
You've really stumbled off the beaten path when you amble into this bare-bones grocery and counter-only chop shop. But the trip is worth it if only for the thin-as-paper French fries that come packed alongside a fantastic Cuban sandwich, a crunchy French bread delight pressed to capacity and jammed with juicy ham and roast pork, pickles, mayo, mustard, lettuce and tomato.
The hot box up front by the cash register offers a plethora of deep-fried dollar items: pizza puffs, chewy empanadas, hunks of fried chicken, shredded pork and papa rellena (a potato ball with ground beef) among them. The charming cook whips up rich Cuban coffees in a state-of-the-art espresso machine while watching Springer on the suspended TV, but not to worry, his main concern is making sure the homemade chicken noodle soup is done to perfection. Nothing on the mostly Cuban menu costs more than $6, including big platters of fried pork ribs, breaded steak and stuffed chicken, served with black beans and rice. Desserts are best picked up in the tight grocery aisle: Sorry, but guava cheese pastries ain't got nothing on Betty Crocker.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Misty Tosh