February 26, 2013

Chef Cabrera Brings His Cuban A Game with Pan Con Mantequilla

I was a fan of Chef Alberto Cabrera's food back when he was stillat The Local, so when he disappeared to work on his own restaurant, Iwas a bit saddened. I was even more saddened when it felt like aneternity for this place to open. So I waited and waited and then waited some more. Finally his restaurant is here, and this littlegastropub was worth every second of my impatient wait. The restaurant is doing oldschool Cuban classics with a new school twist. Similar to the menu, the decor of the restaurant ties together modern style with old oversized Cuban photographs. The menu is all tapasstyle, so be sure to order family style or at least 2-3 dishes perperson. My best friend and I decided to go here for lunch last week, and weboth pretty much fell in love with the place.

As I understood it from our slightly chongalicious waitress, themenu gets changed frequently, so the food I'm reviewing may not evenbe on the menu anymore. Oh well, te jodiste. First up, istheir Tamal En Casuela also known as Florida Corn Casserole. Thisbowl of heaven was pretty much spiced up grits with a delicioussmoked oxtail ragu, a fried lake meadow egg and toasted garlic allover the top. My best friend and I nearly clawed each other's eyesout fighting for the last bite. The flavors were delicious, slightly spicy and the overall texture was creamy and inviting. When our waitress came overto check on us my best friend told her (in true Hialeah style), "Yea,tu crees que me puedas dar un tanque de eso pa llevar pa la casa?"Clearly, he liked it as much as I did.
 
 
We then moved onto their Platanos a La Tentacion, otherwise knownas bacon wrapped sweet plantains. These little bites from baconyheaven came in a slightly sweet syrup and then topped with a dollopof sour cream and chives. The house-made bacon and sweet plantainswere cooked to the point where they still had a little bit of bite tothem. If I could've had 45 of these, I would've been a very happy andfull camper.

Up next I got their Frita China, this may be the most politicallyincorrect name for a frita I've ever heard. Considering the fritacontains kimchee, cilantro, diced onions, ketchup and homemadepapitas, there ain't much of anything "Chinese" in this frita.Either way it was delicious. Only problem is the size is slightlylarger than a slider, and with all the flavor going on you just wanta big ol', piled high frita to stuff your mouth with. The frita wasserved with a skimpy serving of freshly made mariquitas. Themariquitas were perfectly cooked, potato chip thin and well seasoned.My only gripe was how few of them were served, another handful ofmariquitas would've been perfect.
 
 
My best friend got their pan con bistec and he went ahead andadded cheese to it, because he's una gorda. The steakused is tri tip and I personally thought the steak tasted a littlebit dried out and chewy, but my best friend loved it. Mostly becausehe loves putting hard meat in his mouth... but I digress. The flavorof the sandwich was still great. The onions were perfectly cooked andalthough the sandwich used a baguette instead of traditional Cubanbread it was really good. This was also one of the (very few) largedishes on the menu.
 
 
Lastly, I had their Flan Majico deQueso. This sure as hell ain't yo abuela's flan. It's madewith Humbolt Fog cheese and has a sweet and creamy texture. The factthat it's served in a can of condensed milk, just makes it moreinteresting. It's topped with compressed slices of varying citruswhich not only cut the sweetness of the flan, give it a nicecomplexity. Definitely a must try when you go.
 

I'll definitely be back, again andagain. Overall, all of our food was delicious and our waitress wasvery attentive. The place is not a huge restaurant and even on aTuesday during the day, it was quite busy.


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Restaurant Details: 
Bread + Butter
(305) 484-6743
2330 Salzedo St
Coral Gables, FL 33134
http://www.breadandbuttercounter.com



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