As you might already know, we are in Indianapolis via Florida about 6 months ago. So, our tastes for food of the cuban variety have been shaped by that experience. That's a lot to live up to, I expect! I thought a little bit about that when trying out our first Cuban restaurant in Indy, but I also wanted to just live in the moment and think about what we really thought of the food at the Tata Cuban Cafe (cute name, huh?).
Of course, I read some reviews about what to expect before even considering this restaurant. The reviews looked promising, so we decided to try it out before the first IMA outdoor movie last Friday, which was Mommie Dearest and was pretty cool if you haven't been to one of these. I love summer!!
After finding a place to park downtown, something we are admittedly not too skilled at yet. I always like to have the in on the free parking in a place...we'll get there :) We had to walk a little bit to Tata, but no worries. There was some not so pretty looking sidewalk construction right outside the restaurant (not pictured) and some tiny iron chairs and tables in front.
We decided to sit inside since we would be outside for the movie and the atmosphere outside didn't seem too relaxing just then. Inside, it was fancier than any cuban restaurant I have been to, not fancy on the fancy scale, but not a hole-in-the-wall cuban place. I usually expect some little joint, kinda greasy, with a sandwich press and some latino tunes bumpin', but that is not the case here. We were the only people there at first. It was pretty dark, I almost forgot it was only like 6 PM!! The waitstaff was very nice though, and patiently waited and brought drinks as we perused the menu.
Now, I mentioned that I did read some reviews, but I guess I didn't pay attention to the pricing very well, because Hubs and I were still pretty surprised by that. For Cuban food, we thought this place was a little pricey. I remembered I was not trying to have my preconceived notions about the place, but we just always think of it as being a really cheap and filling meal...it's hard to pay $16 for Ropa Vieja. I would've liked to try that staple, it's always good to judge your first impressions of a place by the thing you usually love from that genre, right? But, I just couldn't do it. We both went for cuban sandwiches. A good thing to judge by, and a little more reasonably priced, $9 for a sammy and fries.
We liked it. It was good to have some Cuban, although the experience did make me nostalgic for a few of my favorite Cuban spots in Gainesville. My sandwich was so big, I actually was able to have an entire half of it for lunch another day. So, I guess that's 2 meals for $9...not so bad. I wish the entrees were a little cheaper, but I think one of these days we will probably go back and spring for some ropa vieja just to give it a try.