Last Sunday we headed down to El Oriental de Cuba in Jamaica Plain. This is a great, small Cuban restaurant. Perfect for when Aida gets a craving for sweet plantains and James wants an amazing mango milkshake. So far, it's the best Cuban food we have found in Boston!
To start the meal we ordered a couple of El Oriental de Cuba's homemade empanadas; beef, guava cheese, and cod fish (bacalao). These were crispy and clearly fresh. The beef had an odd flavor, we could not pin point what it was, but it left an unpleasant aftertaste. The guava and cheese was very sweet, we would recommend ending the meal with it. The cod fish (bacalao) tasted great but was cold inside. These were a good way to start the meal...although maybe next time we will order some of their other flavors, like cheese!
Along with the empanadas, we ordered four homemade ham croquettes. The 95 cent price tag on these is a little high considering one can easily be eaten in two bites. However, they tasted great and were crispy yet soft and moist on the inside!
El Oriental de Cuba makes amazing maduros or fried sweet plantains! Aida could not stop eating them. There is not much to say about these except that just one bite will leave you hooked!
The perfect accompaniment to the fried sweet plantains was a side order of congrí or rice and black beans. This was by far the best congrí we have had in a while. We suggest eating the plantains along with the rice, it's truly a great combination of flavors. Congrí is a must have when visiting El Oriental de Cuba!
We also ordered the pride and joy of El Oriental de Cuba, their cuban sandwich. Now, in our opinion, a real cuban sandwich should only come with ham, pork, pickles, yellow mustard, and a little bit of mayonnaise. Yet, El Oriental de Cuba lets you add lettuce and tomato to the sandwich. This was a decent Cuban sandwich. Yet, Aida used to work at a Puerto Rican/Cuban bakery in Florida and theirs was defiantly better. However, as far as Cuban sandwiches go, this is the best we have had in Boston!
James is a big fan of the mango milkshake at El Oriental de Cuba. It is packed full of mango flavor. Absolutely a great, refreshing summer treat everyone should try when visiting the restaurant!
El Oriental de Cuba is a rather small restaurant, therefore we would not recommend it for groups. If you are looking for great, affordable Cuban food in the Boston area jump on the #39 bus and give El Oriental de Cuba a try!
For El Oriental de Cuba's full menu please visit http://www.elorientaldecuba.com/.