My Favorite Little Cuban Spot in South Florida
I recently went back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to visit my cousin who lives in the city. Although I only went for 3 days, we spent one of those afternoons walking by the beach, visiting the downtown area, and of course, indulging in some bomb Cuban cuisine. Whenever I get the chance to visit her, getting Cuban food is always at the top of my list, since we don't quite have the luxury of delicious Caribbean dining in California. This little place (925 Nuevos Cubanos) that I'm writing about is so good that I wanted to share it with all my friends and family who ever happen to travel to the area. I have visited it on both of my trips to Fort Lauderdale within the last few years, and highly recommend it! Check out the pics below!
925 Nuevos Cubanos serves up delicious, authentic Cuban sandwiches, in addition to fresh Cuban coffee, fruit "batidos" (smoothies) and Cuban baked goods like empanadas and croquetas. They are highly rated on yelp, facebook and trip advisor... everyone who goes seems to love this establishment!
The restaurant is frequently busy with both locals and tourists alike. The service is efficient and friendly and portions are super hearty for the price you pay. It is small, however, with only a few picnic tables for guests and a bar filled with high chars to sit at, so I would advise visiting during the week or avoiding peek hours to guarantee a spot. The owner of the restaurant (Luis Valdes) takes pride in his food, and makes every guest feel like they're family. On my first trip to the city, he gave us lots of recommendations on where to go and what to do in Fort Lauderdale.
A little background on the business: his father (Luis Sr.) started the restaurant back in 1976 and Luis Jr. and his wife, Marta, have continued his legacy by serving homemade, traditional and quality Cuban food. You can tell the family pours their heart and soul into their product and it shows the moment you taste one of their menu items! The ingredients used are fresh (many of the veggies are grown by the couple themselves) and the meat is slow roasted and meticulously cooked. This is easily some of the best food I've eaten in South Florida.
The decor is enticing and captivating- making it fun to dine at the bar surrounded by pieces that strongly represent Cuba's culture.
On to the food! My cousin and I ordered and shared the pepper steak sandwich (a variation/ twist on the original Cuban ham and cheese sandwich). Honestly, neither of us is a huge steak enthusiast, but this dish was one of the best beef sandwiches I think I've ever eaten. it was SO good! The meat was marinated in a house sauce and prepared with both onions and bell pepper. I'm not even exactly sure what it was in the sauce that made the sandwich so delectable, but it is absolutely worth checking out. We ordered a side of tostones (fried plantains) to go with our sandwich and this item was also mouth-watering- the perfect compliment to our sandwich.
The Cuban sandwich originated in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Key West and Ybor City, Tampa: two early Cuban immigrant communities. Later on, Cuban expats brought it to Miami, where it is also still very popular.
An up close shot of the sandwich. Next time I visit my cousin, I would love to come back to this eatery (maybe make it a tradition to visit every time I am in the area) and try some other options on their menu. Possibly one of the pork platters, pasteles, empanadas or fruit smoothies!
And of course we each had to get our own cortadito ! A cortadito is a shot of cuban espresso, pre-sweetened, and served with steamed milk in a small cup. This coffee is absolutely divine! One sip, and I swear you feel as if you are in coffee heaven. I'm not sure as to how they make it taste so great (if the secret is in the brewing process or in the coffee beans themselves) but it has easily become one of my favorite warm drinks to share with a friend or family member over some good conversation.
The drink was brought to the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, by Cuban-Americans in the 1960's, It is now found and consumed heavily throughout the South Florida area, and is an important part of everyday culture, particularly amongst the Cuban community.
(Please excuse my lipstick stain lol)
I hope you all enjoyed this post! Please consider visiting this awesome eatery if you ever travel to the Fort Lauderdale area- A locally owned and run establishment built on strong family traditions, amazing food, quality ingredients and great prices...it just doesn't get much better than that =).
Until next time, Fort Laudy!