Every summer my family rents a home in Marco Island for a week. At some point, normally early on I get impatient and go for a drive through Naples. A year ago I drove by Sandy’s Cuban Cafe with plans to hit it up but it was closed for the day by the time I went back. So I waited…….almost an entire year for another attempt. This time I made it.
I walked in and was greeted by the Cuban soft drink trio of Ironbeer, Jupiña, and Materva. I took this as a good omen of things to come.
We started with some Croquetas of the boxed non-homemade variety. I’m ok with that cause hell, they’re good. I wasn’t surprised to hear that they were out of Ropa Vieja for the Sandy’s Nachos since it was late in the day. They were closing up shop in 30 minutes so I settled for some Shredded Pork as a replacement, not a bad trade-off. Sandy’s Nachos are made of Mariquitas (Fried Plantain Chips) instead of the usual Tortilla Chips. The Mariquitas are topped with Picadillo (Seasoned Ground Beef), Pico de Gallo, Cheese and in my version, Shredded Pork. I say Yes, order them if you get a chance.
The Medianoche came with a side of Mariquitas. It was right on point with its toasted sweet bread and melted Swiss Cheese. No complaints here. The Frita came on a Burger Bun with those canned potato sticks that I dread. If we were to ignore those factors, mostly the sticks, the patty itself was very good. This Frita, with a little dressing up, could be a contender.
I finished off the late lunch with a Cafecito or Espresso as the Starbucks acolytes call them. No dessert for me as the floor was getting wiped down around me. We were now 10 minutes past closing time so I took that as a sign it was time to go even if that wasn’t meant as one. I’m hoping next year to try out their Cuban Sandwich and Flan but I’ll arrive earlier, I promise.
Sandy’s Cuban Cafe
1383 Airport Pulling Rd N Naples Fl Naples, FL 34104