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.
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
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.
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.
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.