Is Cuban Food a Bad Joke? Part Deux

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Undaunted, we walked down to Rincon Criollo today for lunch, and found the food superior to that at the Florida Cafe, but, yet again, strangely underseasoned.

The Cubano sandwich was better…if only because the barely-cumin-scented pork was richer, juicier and tastier (and there was more of it – for $6!), but once again, NO MUSTARD and ONE MEASLY PICKLE! Whassup with that?

Not being experts on Fidel’s food, we at ELV can’t say whether pickles and mustard are “authentic” or not. But on the good Cuban sandwiches we’ve had in Florida, they came standard, and for our taste buds, all that pork on pork on pork needs a counterpoint to set the richness of the meat in sharp relief.

But we shall return! Because the place was packed, the service was great, and you could tell the joint has some real mojo. Besides, the folks at this website really like it.


1145 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89104



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Is Cuban food a bad joke or what?

George Costanza got it right on Curb Your Enthusiasm: “I always get excited thinking about the prospect (of Cuban food); but the reality always disappoints me.”

Undaunted, we let ourselves get excited the other day and found ourselves craving a Cuban sandwich. Pork on pork with pickles and mustard….yummmm! And by gosh, some thick, rich black bean soup sounded good too!

On our way to the Florida Cafe we thought of Cuba. Of beautiful beaches and bodacious women, Tito Puente and crazy good Cohibas, Tony Montana, Ricky Ricardo and The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.

Then we ate and all we could think of was bland and boring pork, with only the tiniest smudge of mustard and no pickles at all to liven things up.

Even worse was the tasteless…and we mean tasteless black bean soup. Frijoles negros: the most character-free of any famous dish in the world. Without the raw onions on top, it would have had no flavor at all.

How can this be? How can a Caribbean country so steeped in so much colorful tradition have such ridiculously tasteless food?

Perhaps when Cuba and the U.S. finally restore relations, we can restore some vim and vigor to this cuisine. Or maybe Cubans just like things unseasoned?

ELV thinks he’ll go dance a little mambo while contemplating such weighty concerns:


1401 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89104