This week I am in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for work and on Tuesday we decided on Cuban for dinner. Urbanspoon and Yelp led us to Las Colinas tucked inland away from the grips of tourists on the beach strip. Ft. Lauderdale is the closest to Cuba that I have ever been, so I had great expectations for my first experience of Cuban cuisine. A few in my group are experts on the fare so I knew I was in good hands.
We chose a variety of dishes around the table. Starting on the left and working clockwise we had Palomilla Las Colinas (thinly sliced steak with onions,) Ropa Vieja (shredded beef with onions and peppers,) Lechon Asado (roasted pork,) and ceviche. Each dish came with two sides and I was able to have a bit of almost everything.
The Ropa Vieja was tender and had a nice bite. I found it reminiscent of a spicier Asian pepper steak. The Lechon Asado was very dry and salty, and since pork is such an important staple of the Cuban cuisine, we expected more from this dish. The ceviche was fresh and delicious; cilantro lent a nice and clean flavor. I didn't try the Palomilla but it was pounded thin and I am told it was a little on the tough side. Most of the table agreed that this was not the most amazing cuban food.
For sides I chose Arroz Moros (black beans and rice) and Maduros (sweet plantains.) We also had Tostones Rellenos con Picadillo (stuffed plantains with ground beef.) Both sides were tasty and the tostones were good but very heavy. The plantain shells were so bread-y and after half of one I was already reaching full. We finished the meal off with tres leches cake and amazing homemade flan.
After Las Colinas I'm not sure when I'll rush to have Cuban again but I'm glad I got to it while I was in Florida.
Las Colinas: 2724 N. Andrews Ave., Wilton Manors, FL. (954) 390-7410