We've never had Cuban food before. The foundation of this blog was built on the fact that we love trying new cuisines and prefer to try out new places rather than constantly visiting a favorite! Well, we were just driving around and saw "Cuban Cuisine" and had to make a stop.
Frijoles is located in a strip of maybe 3 other businesses right off Alameda. The location lead us to believe it would be a little hole in the wall (with hole in the wall pricing). When we walked in, I felt like I was in a little bakery. The atmosphere is simple and the place is on the smaller side. Just a modest little place really.
The workers greeted us cheerfully! The staff were a happy and friendly bunch and we loved that! We loved it so much we paid close to $10 for each of our sandwiches! Not that Subway is great, but I totally agree with their pricing. A sandwich should be $5! It's a simple food that is cheap to make.
This place has a focus on sandwiches it seems but they do offer plates and a daily special. All dishes are about $10 which really is a good price (especially for the quality). When our sandwiches arived and we took our first bites, we knew this place serves you their best. The quality of the meats was outstanding. We had a Pan Con Bistec (Steak) sandwich. The steak was tender, moist and bursting with flavor. The tomatoes and onions were fresh and beautiful. The potato sticks were unique but added a load of crunch to the sandwich. It was a great sandwich.
We also tried the El Cubano (Cuban) sandwich. The owner suggested it as one of her favorites so we figured it must be great. It's served on Cuban bread which they make themselves daily! The sandwich also comes with ham, Swiss cheese, pork roast, mustard and pickles.
I don't know if I could tell you which sandwich was better. They both offered something so different. I loved the panini feel of the Cuban sandwich. It offered that comfort food feel. The steak sandwich was just as amazing but it offered a bold, almost manly meat with potato sticks that bulked the whole thing up and was served on a thicker bread. If you are hungry, I'd suggest going with the steak sandwich for sure!
Finally, we sampled the Lechon Moro y Yuca plate which 5280 featured in their magazine. This dish offers their "signature pork, rice infused with black beans and yuca and caramelized onions". The cook (also one of the owners) told us this plate is Cuba's fancy traditional Christmas dinner! You know it must be good then, right? It is. The pork was so juicy and tasty! I don't know that I was a fan of the Yuca but that was a texture thing more than anything. As far as the flavors it was nice. Here is the crazy part: the beans and rice were my favorite. They were cooked to perfection. The flavors were simple and I just couldn't get enough. When we go back (because we probably will) I'll be getting my hands on that rice.
We were way too full to try a dessert but they offer a great selection that they make themselves daily.
I just loved the staff and the food at Frijoles. It is obvious that they serve quality, home made products and the food is authentic to Cuba. As I said, we don't like to revisit restaurants but this one is so good, we'll be going back.