I can always count on Jen A to be up for a good meal, drink, or walk through Brooklyn. I met her after work one sunny day for Cuban food on Smith Street--Cubana Cafe!
I enjoyed the look and feel of this spot--including the colored tile floor!
We were early for dinner, so we got a primo spot right by the open front of the restaurant, taking in prime people watching and enjoying the warmer weather. We started with a half-pitcher of red sangria ($15).
It was sweet and refreshing, and you couldn't really taste the alcohol. It wasn't too strong, and I would have liked more fruit, but it's still a good deal for the price.
We were hungry, so everything looked good. We decided to share a soup and a salad, you know, spread out the calories and the choices!
We shared the tortilla chicken soup. This was a huge, hearty portion--juicy shredded chicken, chunks of avocado (maybe a little underripe but still yummy), and tons of veggies.
Another must-have according to Jen A is the chickpea salad: a generous portion of seasoned chickpeas with greens dressed in a light drizzle of a creamy-garlicky dressing. This was deeeelish.
It was also a big portion--easily enough for 2 people.
We also shared the chile relleno, stuffed with seafood, cheese, and rice. There was something about the cheese sauce that I wasn't wild for, but the seafood (shrimp and calamari) was well-cooked, tender, not rubbery, and the rice and beans were really, really delicious.
After our sangria, we each got a mojito, too--a requisite for any Cuban spot. I ordered the original version--I rarely mess with the basic rum, lime juice and seltzer. This was crisp and cooling; not too sweet. Jen A ordered the strawberry and wasn't crazy about it.
Dessert was only three dollars (THREE!), so we decided to split the tres leches cake. There was something about the texture of this cake that I didn't enjoy--a little mealy instead of spongy, I guess? The flavors were nice, though, lots of cinnamon, drenched in the milk mixture. I'd probably opt for a mojito instead of dessert next time, though.
It was very slow that day, so it did take a long, long time to put in our order, and an even longer time to get the check, but we were happy to sit and visit. Definitely not the place to be if you're in a rush, but do stop by and enjoy the food, the prices, the atmosphere, and the mojitos!
272 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231