The chef’s aim seems to be to offer solid quality Cuban food to an area otherwise having none, and to affordably provide it in a fun place. (This would be as opposed to, say, ripping people off with gimmick food, or to providing home cooking in a dive atmosphere.)
I had braised pork with sautéed onions, with sides of black beans ‘n rice, boiled cassava (similar to potato) and darkly caramelized plantains, preceded by Italian bread and compound butter. The pork was tender, juicy and well trimmed. For my personal taste, I wished the herbs and spices had been more strongly leveraged; but, maybe I’d now be complaining because I couldn’t taste the fresh pork…
Note---Here is how the menu describes the dish (but I’ll hold to my description): “Lechon Asado - Roasted pork leg, marinated with zesty Mojo de Ajo sauce. Served with Moro rice, yuca, and sweet plantains.”
All the sides played their supporting roles very well. Not a bad score for $12.50 !! Had the beer list been better and had groovy Latin people been showing-off on Vicente’s big dance floor at the time, this experience would have been awesome.
Anyway, on my way out, curiosity and enthusiasm got the better of me, and I ordered Arroz con Pollo to go. Of course, when I got to my parked car I used a business card to scoop-up some of this chicken rice so it could be experienced hot. Great texture, appearance and flavor, with a nice little kick. I’m sure anyone with a Cuban grandmother would just give this a “B” at best, but I give it an “A,” even though it wasn’t quite as beautiful as its menu photo.
I should add that my server John and the other employees all were very good and also friendly.
Yes, Vicente’s is a deserving option! Thx xman887 and JimM (and probably others)