In my yearend wrap up recently, I noted the many restaurants that closed last year. For good number of them, the distance between their opening date and going out of business was relatively short.
So I'm especially in awe of the restaurants that have shown great longevity. Cafe Madrid, a Cuban/Spanish restaurant on Curry Ford Road, is one. It's been serving its simple but reliable food for 28 years.
It couldn't be plainer, occupying a corner space in a strip mall at Conway Road. There are bare-wood tables and simple chairs. There is a bar at the far end of the small dining room, but it doesn't appear that anyone is expected to sit there.
The menu has more selections than you'd expect it to (or that it needs, frankly). On my recent lunchtime visit, I chose the Pollo Salteado a la Madrid. Although the name says sauteed, it was very much like a stewed dish, with onions and peppers and even some green olives in a tomato-tinged wine sauce.
The dish came with a rice (I chose yellow but you may have white if you prefer), black beans and a choice of sweet plantains, tostones, fries or cassava. I always go for the cassava, I love that boiled pasty texture with a bit of garlic butter.
The meal also included a decent salad with a vinaigrette and a basket of toasted Cuban bread. All for $9.95.
When you consider all the food you get for that price, it's even more of a wonder they've been able to stay open for so long.
But then maybe that's the reason.
Cafe Madrid is at 4502 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. There is no website. The phone number is 407-281-9491.