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Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Monday, February 10, 2020

El Cubano in West St. Paul is Very Good!!

El Cubano West Side West St. PaulEl Cubano, West  Side / West St. Paul

Another great new place to eat in St. Paul--hooray!!!

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul Our second visit to El Cubano at Annapolis and Dodd Road on the West Side was equally as good as our first visit about 2 weeks ago.  Fantastic...and tremendous service and conversation from mom and dad and this family-owned restaurant.

El Cubano Visit #1

El Cubano West Side West St. PaulOn our first visit we enjoyed a Cuban and a Dominican (the Dominican is like a Cubano, but topped with shredded lettuce and tomato).  We also had plantains (Plantano Maduros), Arroz Con Leche (rice pudding) and flan.

El Cubano Visit #2

El Cubano West Side West St. PaulTonight we tasted more menu selections...the Bistek del Pollo platter (chicken platter), Bistec Encelbollado (Cuban flank steak with onions), another Cubano (you can never have too many), Ajiaco Sancocho (pork stew), empanadas, yuca frites, and flan.
El Cubano West Side West St. Paul

Everything, on both visits to El Cubano, was delish!

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul The Cubano is on a traditional roll, with generous meat and mustard.   Anne is our meat expert and she announced it to be very tasty meat indeed.  It was pressed (but not as much as the Meet Market...which I find a bit 'too pressed') and was good-sized, served with its own frites.

The Dominican turned out to be just as enjoyable...maybe even a little more so if you like some crispy shredded lettuce and tomato on your hot sandwich.  It was really a toss-up with the Cubano---equally good, each in its own way.


El Cubano West Side West St. Paul The sauces were great, too.   The garlic and orange sauce added another layer of flavor wherever you chose to put it.  A little dunk of the Cubano in the sauce gave it another dimension.  The pink sauce had ketchup, garlic and onion.   The green sauce had some kick (it reminded me of our own Salsa Vivaldo with tomatillos and garlic...we added little chunks of queso fresco) and great tomatillo essence that came through in each bite.   Fresh limes for squeezing, too.

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul The food is part Dominican and part reflect parental heritages.   That's reflected in the decor, too...with a great mural disguising the cooler which transports you to a different part of the world.

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul Tonight's steak and chicken platters were fantastic, too.  The meats were juicy and well-grilled, and served with rice and black beans and plantains and shredded lettuce and tomato.    And, big enough that parts of them are currently residing in multiple family's refrigerators.   I'm a big plantain fan....luckily some people were willing to share with me.....they were perfectly prepared.   Love, love, loved 'em.

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul We also shared a big bowl of the pork, beef, chicken and corn stew (Ajiaco Sancocho)....the corn flavor in the base really comes through...and the big pieces of corn...on the cob....are a delightful treat.    The stewed meat is moist and knife or fork needed...a spoon will do.  Lots of meat plus oodles of veggies, thickened with squash.   It's
El Cubano West Side West St. Paul
served with a bowl of sticky-esh rice which accopanies the stew perfectly.  The bowl is big enough for two people to share...easily!

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul The flan is delicious (one of the few things mom lets her daughter make.....yeah, we know that story) and so is the arroz con leche.   I've gobbled down quite a bit of these two items during and after my two in, take out, take some home for later.....all great options in my opinion!

Tonight we also all enjoyed at least one
El Cubano West Side West St. Paul
glass of passion fruit juice.   Oh my, my---that was a bright glass of goodness during a pretty hefty meal.   Some people at our table took another glass for the road.....yum.

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul El Cubano.....what can we say....we all loved it!   The family is super-nice, the service is attentive and thoughtful, and conversation is fun. 

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul Plus, the place is spotless...squeaky clean everywhere.  Two dining areas, so don't be put off if you look in the window and the room where you order is full (as it was tonight).  There's a whole other room to accommodate you and your family.

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul We highly recommend El Cubano.

Location:         Google Maps

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul

El Cubano West Side West St. Paul

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