Culinary Favorites: The Cuban Cafe

Since I’m downtown eating all the time and get to see the restaurants that succeed, as well as those that fail, it seems appropriate that I pick up the “Culinary Favorites” column for Historic City News readers in search of the best hamburger or the best Cuban Sandwich in St Augustine.

I use those two examples because, admittedly, they are two of my favorite meals and sandwiches when it comes time to refuel.

Today’s surprise visit was to The Cuban Café and Bakery, located on the ground floor of the shops along Hypolita Street that are directly across from the Columbia Spanish restaurant; address 10 St George Street 32084.

I enjoyed the Cuban sandwich (of course) but that was hardly my only choice.  Empanadas, pan con bistec, croquetas, papa rellena, pastelitos, cinnamon churros and other desert pastries.

Disappointed they didn’t have fresh brewed tea, but they do have assorted Cuban coffees, espresso and café con leche and bottled or canned soft drinks.

Sandwich and a Coke was $11 + tip; which, of course, is a little touristy, but the Cuban, especially the bread, was very good.  Nice crust, top and bottom, gave each bite a snap.  Could have used a little more meat; but, a Cuban isn’t like a pastrami — it’s not meant to be stacked to the ceiling.  If your ticket is over $5 they accept plastic.

Friendly atmosphere and got my food quickly.  Not too crowded, half-dozen guests while I was there.  The dining room and prep area were clean.  Restrooms are in the corridors and shared with the other tenants.

Call Yasier de la Pina (owner) at 904.829.1645 or visit online at http://www.thecubanbakery.com and the next time you’re walking the historic colonial quarter, give The Cuban a try.

To be fair, I generally won’t introduce myself until after I have finished my meal and I’m ready to leave.  About the only guidelines that I impose are that I won’t write about restaurants that are franchises or chains (sorry Chick-fil-A and Red Lobster), I must pay for my meal (no bribery) and you aren’t guaranteed a favorable report just because you are a Historic City News advertiser (of course we wouldn’t want to be advertising a place where we couldn’t extend a favorable report).

 

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