La Cubana (Gerrard)
La Cubana continues to add to their scratch cooking mini-empire with this location in the spot where rockabilly cafe Janie Jones used to be.
They’re serving the standard cubanos, medianoches and Cuban entrees for dine in, takeout and delivery that are available at all their locations, along with their signature Cuban-inspired cocktails at the bar.
The multi-level space has been put to good use, the subway tile present in other Cubanas tying things together. A huge mirror facing bar seating makes the small back space with a sly view into the kitchen feel like a pleasant retro nook with soft lighting.
A veggie medianoche ($8.99) may not stand out amongst such other medianoche options as pork belly, short rib or chicken, but it’s just as good as any meaty version.
Fluffy and fresh house made buns are filled with light, bright queso fresco, tomato, avocado and cucumber for this sandwich.
All that gets topped with an acidic and crunchy jicama arugula salad dressed with lime vinaigrette and rounded out with chipotle mayo.
Conch fritters ($4.99) make for a popular side with a bit of a kick, minced and then blended conch shellfish meat with buttermilk, flour, pepper and celery deep fried and served with the same punchy chipotle mayo.
Otherwise you could opt for yuca frita (also $4.99, like all sides), sweet with a firm bite and drizzled with a homemade garlic mojo sauce.
The guava BBQ beef short rib ($16.99) stands out amongst other Cuban entrees like achiote chicken and pork belly or shoulder, sublimely tender, rich and moist.
All mains are served with a nicely acidic red cabbage slaw, Cubana’s obligatory yummy rice and beans and their signature sweet tostones.
The buttermilk donuts ($5.99) are a favourite, all desserts homemade from scratch like everything else on the menu.
The Hemingway ($12) should be tried at least once by any true lover of cocktails or literature, the creation of a Cuban bar the nominal Hemingway frequented that modifies a traditional daiquiri recipe to contain more alcohol and less sugar.
This fruity and citrusy cocktail has maraschino liqueur and a splash of grapefruit with a sugar rim.