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 sautés 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. Qubano's has moved to a new location on Avenue Hildago.
Update 2013. Sometimes change is good. Qubamo's new locaion on Avenue Hildalgo, They are now open for dinner and they now have a liquor license. The liquor license means Vivian can serve her take on the mojito - granulated suger instead of syrupy sweet simple syrup - a great mojito, not as sweet as the others hereabouts.
VIvian is also doing Friday specials. Last Friday, one of my favorite dishes, Arroz con pollo - TGIF.
Great location too, now. Right on Hildago, Isla's walking street. Lots to watch between courses.