Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cubano at Cafecito

Happy together.

Cafecito is the place to be.

Rachel and I dug into the menu like the voracious food lovers we are. Plenty of lip-smacking sandwich options available, though we settled on the lunch specials. For just $9, you get a thick 8-inch slab of meat with rice, beans and plantains on the side. What better way to go?

Warm lighting.

Mini disco lights draped delicately from the ceiling like long, dangling earrings. The brick wall insets added a homey vibe to the Cuban restaurant/bar. A collection of plush cushions scattered on the front benches enhanced the lived-in feel.

One thing we noticed right away was how clean the bathroom was. Spotless! Seriously much better than what the plain, nondescript yellow awning suggests.

Biztec con arroz, frijoles y tostones.

Rachel ordered the seasoned steak.

Look, Mommy - I made a heart!

I got the Pollo Cafecito, or house chicken. And boy was it mammoth. See that picture? The entire chicken was nearly twice that size. Needless to say, I brought leftovers to work the next day. As for the flavor, I'm not sure how Cubans do it, but the tender chicken had a most satisfying blend of spices - black pepper, garlic, oregano, cumin and who knows what other "secret" ingredients.

You can't see it here, but we also ordered a half-carafe of sangria. It was Rachel's first time, and though she found the drink "ok," she heartily ate the chopped apples. Sangria is also a refreshing summer drink. I like making it from scratch, soaking the fruits in the wine concoction for hours. You can use just about any type of fruit - apples, oranges, peaches, grapes, cherries, etc. (Just pick one or two, not all of them!) Then, pop it in the refrigerator to chill.

Vamping up the freak.

Couldn't resist snapping up a few Vampire Freaks.

Rating: 4.5 stars. I...LOVE...rice and beans. Our waitress was pleasant and didn't rush us in the least. An energizing music selection featured everything from classic jazz to reggae and all the shake-your-moneymaker salsa and rumba in between. I'd go again with a bigger crowd to sample the sandwiches and half-priced Happy Hour drinks. Or maybe a pitcher of that sangria.

185 Avenue C
(between 11th St & 12th St)
New York, NY 10009

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