Best Cuban Restaurant (2007)

La Vina

If you're looking for atmosphere, don't go here. You will be disappointed in this hole in the wall, whose only wall decorations are pictures of Cuba. However, if you want simple, authentic, homemade Cuban food, and lots of it, you won't find any finer or any cheaper. Start out with mariquitas, crispy plantain chips smothered in garlic sauce, or try the empanadas or croquetas. Then on to heartier fare like ropa vieja (shredded beef) or palomilla (top sirloin) steak covered in onions. Or try two different kinds of pork: masitas fritas, fried pork chunks; or pernil, a wonderful roasted pork. All are served with glistening white rice and black beans, ripe plantains or yuca (cassava). Wash it down with a mango milkshake and finish with a flan and a cubanito, a pre-sugared espresso. Before you leave, get a Cuban sandwich to go, just in case hunger pangs strike in two or three days.

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