When Cuban families want an affordable home-cooked meal with a twist but don't want to cook it themselves or go supercheap at the Cuban fast-food joint, Pollo Tropical, they come to this big, unassuming restaurant. In fact, you're likely to see whole families here representing multiple generations. The fare is traditional Cuban: long thin steaks known as bistec palomilla (a panfried steak), roast chicken with citrus marinade, and fried pork chunks; contemporary
flourishes—mango sauce and guava-painted pork roast—are kept to a minimum. Most dishes come with white rice, black beans, and a choice of ripe or green plantains. The sweet ripe ones offer a good contrast to the savory dishes. Start with the $5.25 mariquitas (plantain chips) with mojo. Finish with the acclaimed flan.