There’s a new Old Cuban Cafe. It’s similar to the old Old Cuban Cafe, though I admit I haven’t been to the oldest Old Cuban Cafe.
The newest is on Colonial Drive, east of Alafaya Trail, in eastern Orlando. It’s much bigger than the one I visited on North Goldenrod Road four years ago (there’s another location on South Goldenrod; I don’t know which is the older Cuban). This is the same strip mall where Kreyol Kafe & Bakery is located.
Old Cuban has a bigger space, with a sizable dining area, with a bar in the back with two large televisions (one of which was playing, and little too loudly, a Latino music video), and a large display of steam table foods in the front of the restaurant, just to the right inside the door.
But although it looks at first like you’re supposed to step up to the food counter and make your request, that isn’t the case. This is a full service restaurant, so please wait to be seated.
I started with a cup of chicken soup, an orangish broth, deeply flavored, with good hunks of chicken and potatoes.
For my entree I selected the Lechon Asado, which came with a choice of sides. My server told me my rice choices were “white or Cuban rice,” which apparently is what they say to guests they don’t think know the word congris. I requested the congris and also the boiled cassava.
It turns out that when you order in the dining room, one of the people attending the food tables in the front of the restaurant dishes your order up into little aluminum pots for your server to pick up and deliver.
There was an ample amount of both meat and rice. I missed having some crackling in the pork but it was good nonetheless. And I appreciated that the yuca was only slightly tinged with garlic, just enough.
Except for the loud music, the dining room was pleasantly bustly and the staff, though rushed, were friendly.
Old Cuban Cafe is at 12014 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily, including late night until 1 a.m. The phone number is 407-674-6489.