For those of you who remember Carlos’ Cuban Cafe and miss their Cuban Cuisine….THERE BACK! I still remember my first time going to Carlos’ Cuban Cafe after moving to Tallahassee. I had never sampled Cuban Cuisine, other than Cuban Coffee, it that counts, and was hooked from the start. I remember my awe and seeing fried yucca on the menu and having to try it. According, I was happy to hear they had reopened. The new place is called Cuban Grill and is located in the same strip mall at Esposito’s in the same location Brooma Grill.
On the side there is even an homage to the old location. The old sign from their other place.
My friend Mike a.k.a. “Captain Food Blogger” and I decided to try them out for lunch the other day. We left early in hopes of avoiding any lunch rush. We arrived at 11:45 a.m. Even at that time, there was not much parking in the lot and we needed to park on the side. The minute you walk in the door the aroma from the open grill catches your nostrils. There were four people ahead of us in line and no menus other than two taped to the counter. Still, it took us almost 15 minutes to place our orders. When I approached the register I had to wait as the woman behind the register entered 5 phone orders into the system. I ordered a whole cuban plate which came with a side of beans and rice. I could not resist and also ordered a side of plantanos. I paid my money and was told they would call my name when the order was ready. I was given a styrofoam cup and went to get a drink at the soft drink dispenser. The inside consisted of booths and tables with some cuban type art work. We chose a booth toward the back of the room.
After waiting twenty minutes (I checked the time on my receipt) they called my friend Mike’s name. He returned with his food and I waited longer. Then they called the name of some people who had been behind us in line. At that time I approached the counter and asked about my order. They said it was ready and they had called me numerous times. I found that hard to believe since neither me nor my friend heard the many alleged calls.
I returned to my seat with my tray.
There was a cuban sandwich on paper in a plastic tray and a side of beans and rice with fresh onion on top sloppily thrown into a styrofoam bowl. My plantanos smiled at me from another styrofoam bowl. My sandwich looked wonderful; however, my first bite discovered it was cold. It would have been nice if the bread still had a little warmth to it, but it did not. Strange, my beans and rice and plantanos were still hot. Even cold my sandwich was still good and the plantanos were awesome. Fried and warm and oh so good.
Overall, I would eat there again, despite the long wait and poor service. I think Cuban Grill looses a lot in not being a sit down type of restaurant and the presentation of the food cheapens an otherwise good meal.
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