Av. Hildago near Matamoros
Isla Mujeres

Open For Lunch and Dinner
Monday - Saturday

God was willing.

After my first lunch at Qubano I told owner Vivian I would see her soon.  She answered in a New York accent that belies her Cuban heritage, "God Willing."  With God's encouragement I returned the next day.

Qubano's sandwiches are amazingly good.  On the left, Teston - Vivian's invention for a customer who couldn't eat bread and whose wife would ""kill me" (Vivian) if she gave him a real sandwich.  She came up with the idea of slicing plantains lengthwise, frying them like testones and using that as bread.  Works perfectly, though maybe a tad greasily, but nothing wrong with that.  More to lick off my fingers.   The Teston is filled with marinated chicken and caramelized onion.  Everything is brushed with Mojo sauce - sour orange, garlic and onion - just before serving.

There are cuban sandwiches and then there is Vivian's cuban sandwich.  She roasts the pork and saves the juices and fat.  Once ordered, she sautÚs the pork with a bit of the fat and juices.  Makes for a juicey sandwich, full of flavor.

Sides include yuca fries and Hungarian potatoes, Vivian's mother's recipe - sliced potatoes, eggs, onion and sour cream.  "You have to try them."  I did.

Vivian's other innovation, or perhaps a neighbor's, a puppy who hosts the outdoor dining room.  When not chewing on a slipper, tossing a doll in the air or napping, the pup greets customers and puts up with their petting and fawning.  Probably a good balance to Vivian's New York attitude.  February 2009

Update 2012. As good as I remember. Had to order Vivian's cuban sandwich, along with a side of fresh cut fries. And a new adiction, watermelon water.

Update 2012-1/2:  Qubano's has moved to a new location on Avenue Hildago. They are now open for dinner and have a liquor license.  The pictures on this page are all of the old location.