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YaYa's Cuban Cafe & Bakery

Yaya omeletThe little eatery that was for a brief time Tino’s Cuban Bistro is now a second location for YaYa’ Cuban Cafe & Bakery. This time, the menu is mostly Cuban. (Yes, Tino’s was ostensibly Cuban, too, but the menu had such things as meatloaf and other American mainstays.)

YaYa’s is quite simple, on all levels. The restaurant itself, a former Maryland Fried Chicken hut, is small and has just a few hard booths with tables. Guests order at the counter then take a seat (dispense drinks from the fountain, if paid for) and someone will bring the food to the table.

On my first visit I stopped in for breakfast on a Sunday morning. I ordered an omelet a mi manera (my way), with tomatoes, cheese, ham and sausage. The omelet was light and fluffy and chockfull of the good stuff. I had opted to have potatoes with it, for $1 more, and was surprised that they were french fries rather than, say, hash browns or cottage fries. 

My companion had the breakfast sandwich called the Mayorca, a sweet and savory grilled yaya sandwichham and cheese concoction on sweet egg bread sprinkled with powdered sugar. A good sandwich.

At a dinner visit I had the lechon asada, a traditional roast pork with a mojo marinade. It came with a choice of rice (white, yellow or congri), beans (black or pinto), plantains (maduros or tostones), and Cuban toast. I was a little dismayed that the woman who took my order assumed I was unfamiliar with Cuban cuisine and “dumbed down” the options (I think she referred to the plantain options as soft or hard) but I suppose she was just trying to be helpful.

yaya sandwichThe roast pork was tender and flavorful, and not as garlicky as it can sometimes be. That may be due to the mojo sauce served on the side rather than doused over the meat. All those I spoke to later in the evening appreciated that.

The white rice and black beans were also very good. So were the tostones, or hard plantains.

I also had an order of croquettes, small stogie-sized deep-fried blend of onion, flour ham and other goodies. Soft and delicious.

The folks on both visits were friendly and helpful (if condescending). This isn’t fine dining, but it can certainly be fine.

YaYa’s Cuban Cafe & Bakery is at 3500 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The menu is reasonably priced -- none of the dinner entrees are over $8. Here is a link to yayascubancafe.com. The phone number is 407-228-0060.

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Thursday, 24th April 2014

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