Friday, August 17, 2007

cafe cortadito

last night i went to dinner with some friends at the new cuban spot over on avenue b, cafe cortadito, which had a featured review in last week's new york magazine. i was really excited to go, not only because i love new restaurants and cuban food, but because the review promised that it was small, cheap, and BYOB.

if there ever was a place more appropriate to BYOB, it's cafe cortadito. we got there to discover a 20-minute wait, but, luckily, we had a six pack of corona light with us, which the hostess kindly offered to open for us. we hung out outside, drinking our beer along with all the other eager new customers. we got seated after our first beer in a rather tight table, but we didn't mind--we were hungry. the staff took the rest of our beers to refrigerate them as we took to the menu. although we were pretty enchanted with the option of fritas Cubanas (fried sliders), we decided to pass since we were about to get heavy meat dishes. we started with two salads, an avocado salad with watercress, red onion, and tomato, topped with balsamic vinegar, and another one called guancajo, or something--it had watercress, avocado, pineapple, tropical cheese, and red onion. both were delicious and refreshing.

then came the second course, which unfortunately took a really long time, close to 30-40 minutes to arrive. however, we were so pleased with the meal that we had no cause to complain. at our table we had to orders of the vaca frita, which was pan-fried shredded beef and onion topped with a mojo sauce. it was amazing--the beef was crispy and infused with the tangy mojo sauce. we also got two orders of the churrasco, which was recommended by new york mag. it was a thick slab of skirt steak alongside the best chimichurri i've ever had--better than at an argentinian restaurant. also, everything was accompanied by rice and beans. the food was remarkable and the atmosphere was fun and intimate. unfortunately, i could barely move after the meal. seriously, my legs were kind of frozen from all that meat. it was well-priced and apparently they serve a delicious brunch for only $6.95!

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(photo from new york magazine)

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