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Arts and Entertainment Thursday, May 16, 2013 6 years ago

In Sarasota, a good Cuban restaurant is hard to find

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While the east coast of Florida, Miami in particular, holds many options for Cuban cuisine, finding a Cuban restaurant in Sarasota can pose a challenge. Enter Rincon Cubano, a family-owned and operated Cuban restaurant that opened just about a year ago. Rincon Cubano is a no-frills, budget-friendly, casual dining spot, located in a small strip mall on the corner of 17th Street and Honore Avenue.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, Rincon Cubano serves breakfast (11 a.m. 'til noon), lunch and dinner with daily specials Monday through Saturday. For our meals we chose the following:

  • Black Bean Soup:  Small $2.49, Medium $3.49, Large $5.99 Dark, rich and hearty. A simple presentation of a real comfort food; just add a little hot sauce to spice it up!
  • Appetizer Sampler Platter:  Four croquettes, one tamale, yucca frita with mojo.  $6.99 A very simple sampling of some very flavorful appetizers. A great way to try a few appetizers and good for sharing.
  • Cuban Sandwich:  Roast pork, deli ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and dressing.  Regular 9” $5.55, Large 12” $8.05 A classic Cuban sandwich on great bread. Very filling and full of flavor, easily shared.
  • Fish Sandwich:  Grouper filet, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. $8.25

    A 9” sandwich, fresh, moist, very flavorful and filling. Can easily be shared with a lunch buddy.

  • Paella:  Must order 24 hours in advance. Mussels, clams, lobster, scallops, squid, shrimp, flounder, pork, chicken, rice, peas, red pepper.  $59.00 A beautiful presentation, bursting with color and full of fresh, succulent seafood served on a bed of yellow rice. A great dish for sharing; could easily feed a third person.

All of the portions served are generous. Rincon Cubano offers an adequate selection of beer, wine and soft drinks to accompany your meal. We found the wait staff to be friendly and courteous, but a bit sparse, which resulted in some wait time for meals or between courses. Since we were in no hurry this was not an issue, but it could be for customers on a tight schedule. That being said, the food was most definitely worth the wait!

Offering authentic Cuban cuisine in a quaint, simple, casual, cafeteria-like setting, with large portions and wallet-friendly pricing, Rincon Cubano is one of the best-kept secrets in Sarasota. However, whenever authenticity, quality and value come together, it is hard to keep it a secret; the word gets out. Rincon Cubano is no exception. So take a culinary excursion---you just might be able to say you discovered this Cuban restaurant before it became really popular!

Rincon Cubano

1756 N. Honore Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34235

(941) 706-3472

rinconcubanosarasota.com/index.html

facebook.com/RinconCubanoRestaurant

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