As I've mentioned before, my coworkers and I get treated to lunches out every few months or so by one of our supervisors. We all vote on a place to go and every time we've been fortunate to get to try delicious food and just relax and have a nice time. This visit was to Victor's Cafe in midtown. I hadn't been here in years, but I was more than happy to go back there!
We ordered a sample platter of appetizers. It included yucca fries, tostones (smashed, twice-fried plantains), ham croquettes, chorizo and sauteed veggies, and maybe even a tamale or two. I'm not a tamale fan, and yucca is too starchy for me, tho I tried a bite of the fry. I even skipped the tostones, because I much prefer the fried plantains (we'll see those soon enough!), so I stuck to the chorizo (yummmmmmmmmmm) and the croquette (also yummmmmm). The menu says this platter is for two people, but we shared it with at least 8 people (my sampling is to the right, above)!
THE star of the appetizers, however, and the one bite that will keep me coming back, was the Ceviche de Pargo, red snapper ceviche with lovely bits of mango and avocado and red onion and deliciousness propping up tender, tangy bits of soft, smooth fish. See how gorgeous it looks? It tastes a billion times better. Holy mouthfeel, batman. This is something I would never have ordered on my own, but I enjoyed it more than anything else on that table!
Victor's has a wide range of dishes, from seafood to vegetarian to steak, but all I wanted that day was a Cuban sandwich: a salty, tangy, satisfying Cuban sandwich. It runs about 11 dollars, and comes with vegetable chips. Mmm...ham, roasted pork, mustard, pickles, and melty Swiss cheese, all smooshed together into layer after scrumptious layer. I took half of this home for lunch the next day, and it was even more delicioso! I even enjoyed the chips, which were light and crunchy and airy.
I also got an order of the plantanos maduros (fried ripe/sweet plantains) to split with a coworker, though we ended up sharing them with everyone. These were yummy! Sweet but not too sweet.
The two men at the table (our group is mostly women) at the table ordered the special, whole fried branzino. You could also get it roasted, but the server recommended it fried. This was not only beautiful, it was astoundingly moist and delicious (yes, my boss offered me a bite, perhaps not knowing I'd so take him up on it!)
This beauty here is a mixed greens salad with Asian Pear, Manchego cheese, baby candycane beets, and grilled salmon, drizzled with a sherry vinaigrette. This got two thumbs up from both the women who ordered it.
My friend Mel ordered the chicken salad with chunks of mango. I thought it tasted good, but not amazing, and Mel says she probably wouldn't order it again. Unfortunately, she's allergic to seafood, or I would have slid that ceviche her way to make up for it!
Another gal from our group, Jenna, got the Enchiladas Camarones, Jumbo shrimp sauteed in a sauce of tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, thyme, and white wine, served with white sweet potato mash. I think she really enjoyed this! And she took the photo for me so I didn't have to lean all the way across the table--thanks, Jenna!
We also shared a lovely bottle of this Argentinian Malbec. I have had some not-so-great Malbecs, so I don't usually lean toward them. This, however, was lovely. The wine is fruity but strong, and its tannins grip your entire tongue with its tingly force. It was just a perfect complement to all dishes. And a nice segue into dessert...but that, dear readers, will have to wait for another post. My fingers are tired, and now I'm hungry after looking at all of these pictures.