Lechonera Latina #3

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Lechonera plateThis is what $6.39 worth of food looks like at Lechonera Latina.

When Tasty Thai closed the doors of its longtime Curry Ford location it didn't take long for Lechonera Latina to open them back up.

Lechonera Latina has two other locations: Lechonera Latina #1 at 9998 E. Colonial Drive, and Lechonera Latina #2 at 11129 E. Colonial Drive. The Curry Ford location shall be known as #3.

LL is a sort of buffet type of operation, but not exactly. All the food is in front of you in steam trays when you approach the counter, but you're separated from it by a wall of glass. A staff member does the dishing. You choose the type of rice you'd like (plain white, yellow, congris, etc.) and the meat you want to go with it, and a side dish. The staff member then scoops your choices in startlingly large amounts onto a plate or into a takeout container. Then you pay at the end of the counter and either take a seat at one of the tables in the large and unadorned dining room or take your food to a secluded spot where you can pig out in private.

I chose congris (white rice mixed with black beans) for my rice and mulled over whether to get the roast pork or the ribs in tomato sauce. The word lechonera refers to a restaurant that serves roast pork, so that seem appropriate, but I always get roast pork. I decided to go with the ribs. Yuca was my choice of side dish. And yes, I always get yuca, too; stop needling me.

I liked the ribs but found the bones the meat was still attached to to be a bit of a problem. They begged to be picked up with the fingers but the sauce made doing so a messy proposition. The yuca was a tad dry but the congris was terrific.

Here's the best part. The huge platter of food came to a grand total of $6.39. And there was enough to enjoy over two mealtimes. That makes this a real bargain. Who cares if the place has no atmosphere?

Lechonera Latina #3 is at 3806 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. The phone number has not yet been published.

lechonera interior