Havana Banana

Hungry for a little Latina bite? Look no further than the tiny Latina Cafe (1972 Fairview, 713-521-2611). The few tables inside practically touch each other, or bump up against the ceiling poles dressed as palm trees. Small, and not exactly known for rapid service, the quaint cafe still has thrived over the years because of its consistently excellent Cuban fare. And while hearty meals of garlic-smothered pork may not be on your menu when the heat index is over 110, here you'll find the best banana chips in town. They make a pleasant appetizer or a great summer snack, served up with cold cerveza. The mariquitas con mojo ($2.35) are lightly crisped fresh banana chips with garlic dipping sauce. The sauce is simple yet spunky: mashed garlic, onions and a dash of lemon. Leave it to the Cubans to put garlic with everything, even bananas.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Marene Gustin