I remember when the Cuban Guys restaurant concept was going to be a food truck instead. I loved the idea of Cuban fast-food that doesn’t cut corners on quality. For a while, it seemed like they might never open, but then next thing I knew they were opening a restaurant in Hialeah Gardens on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012.
Cuban Guys has expanded to five locations in South Florida. There is the original in Hialeah Gardens plus Kendall, Miramar, North Miami Beach, and Westland Mall.
The menu has changed very little since opening day but there have been some additions and removals. If you follow them on social media you can keep abreast of whatever new dishes they’re testing.
You never forget your first time or in this case, fist visit to Cuban Guys.
I was standing there checking out the menu and trying to figure out what to get. Who was am I kidding? I was always going straight for the Frita. My wife Marcela is with me, and she opts for one of their Cuban Bowls. I choose Yuca Fries for the side while she went to the Plantain Chip route.
The Yuca Fries were crispy, and the dipping sauce (some mayo/ketchup mix) was perfect for it. I was hesitant to try it since I prefer Yuca Fries sans anything else but glad I did.
Marcela’s bowl had all the essential components of a Cuban meal. Let’s see there was black beans & rice, nicely diced up platanos maduros (fried sweet plantains), real julienne potatoes (not the potato stix canned version), diced white onions and a frita patty. You can, of course, choose chicken, steak or pork but when in Rome.
If you’re hungry and probably starving, this is the route you want to go. The bowl was delicious and filling. The plantain chips had a great crunch and were salted just as I like them. They were served with a dipping sauce that I overlooked since they were so perfect as is.
The menu includes all the Cuban classics like Sandwich Cubano (Cuban Sandwich), Media Noche (Midnight Sandwich, same ingredients as Cuban Sandwich on a sweet roll), and Pan con Bistec (Steak Sandwich) and at the top of the list, the Frita (Cuban Hamburger).
There are two things I look at before eating a frita. First is that they are making their tiny shoestring julienne fries. Second that it’s served on a proper Cuban roll.
From there, I move onto an examination of what’s under the top bun. Are they trying to pass off some ground beef or an over seasoned regular burger patty as a frita?
It’s also pretty nice if they toast the roll—lastly, a taste test of the goods.
Make no bones about it, Cuban Guys’ frita is the real deal; it’s legit. I asked about going A Caballo (with a fried egg), and Jorge Llapur, the owner said it’s possible but not on the actual menu.
If I hadn’t ordered a flan, I might have gone for a Pan con Tortilla (omelet sandwich) also. The cool thing is they serve breakfast all day. As someone who has eggs for dinner occasionally, I love that.
If you’re not in the know, flan is the classic Cuban dessert. Everyone has a mom, grandmother, or aunt that makes the best flan in Miami and beyond.
If for some reason, they’re not in Flan making mode, the flan at Cuban Guys is an excellent replacement.
CUBAN GUYS LOCATIONS
|Hialeah Gardens||3174 W 76th Street||Hialeah|
|Kendall||10801 Sunset Drive||Miami|
|Miramar||3496 Red Road||Miramar|
| North Miami |
|1678 NE Miami Gardens Drive|| North Miami |
|Westland Mall||1675 West 49th Street||Hialeah|