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Cafecito_cubanoI’ve been having good sandwich luck lately. It’s really not that often that I’m like wow, that’s a sandwich. Cubanos can be dense and flavor-packed, but they’re not always ethereal. Frequently, they just taste like all of their parts, not one unified uber-snack.

Cafecito surprised me. I easily get burnt out on the Latin American rice, beans, meat trinity (plantains come in at close fourth). I also fear that cute, gentrified Cuban spots will all by like Cubana Café, but Ave. C isn’t Smith St. (yet) so the food hasn’t suffered total bland-izing.

Cafecito_choripan_con_quesoI ordered the cubano and James got the chorizo con queso, which is what it sounds like: a sliced chorizo and grilled onion mass pressed together with melted swiss cheese. We swapped halves for variety. I was also intrigued by the Elena Ruz with turkey, swiss, lime-cured onions and cranberry salsa on medianoche bread, though it felt a little too Thanksgiving-ish for the warm evening. Both sandwiches were just right in amount of filling, toastiness, gooeyness. The pork was amazing, not dried out and tough, but juicy with crispy skin. You can’t discern much from the photos because the sandwiches had been pressed pretty flat.

Cafecito_saborcito_de_cuba_2I stayed away from the entrees but I suspect they’re better than I’d given them credit for, if the roast pork used in the sandwich was any indication. The fritters were kind of boring, but fritters tend to be like that. The chicken empanada was average (I had cheesesteak and Hawaiian empanadas the other night at Empanada Mama, which were strangely tasty despite the weirdo fillings. I still think the best empanadas are at Empanadas del Parque in Corona, though).

Two for two kick ass sandwiches would be enough reason to return. It’s unfortunate that Avenue C is not really on my way to anything ever anymore.

Cafecito * 185 Ave. C, New York, NY

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