Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tata Cuban Cafe

     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!!

The Place


     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.

The Chow


     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.

Not the best picture of a cuban sandwich ever, you can't see what's in it!!  Don't worry, I will tell you :)  This was your typical cuban fare, a pressed ham, pork and swiss sandwich with mustard, hold the pickles for me.  I am aware this may alter the experience, and that pickles are probably an important part of a cuban, but I just can't do it.  Sorry.  Moving on.  Looks good from the appearance.  I was happy with my order.  I decided to try it out.  It was pretty dang good.  The bread was pressed perfectly, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  The whole combination tasted really good.  We liked our sandwiches and were glad we didn't spring for the expensive entrees.  My only, not so much a complaint, more of a craving and hoping for, was that my sandwich had pulled pork on it.  I expected the pork to be pulled, so that may have been my first mistake!  Okay, obviously, I am not doing very well with this no expectations thing!!  So, that ham and the pork were both sliced, pretty thickly and very tasty.  Without my preconceptions, this sandwich would've been perfect.  Very pleased.  The fries were on the side, but the sandwich was huge and I didn't want to spoil my appetite with them because they weren't my favorite.  They were a little soggy for my taste, although notably, Hubs liked them quite a bit and ate all of his.

Final Thoughts


     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.

Tata Cuban Cafe on Urbanspoon

7 comments:

  1. Looks good. I have always wanted to try it, but never find myself there at the right time.

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  2. It does look kind of tasty, but I would also be expecting pulled roast pork on a Cuban and I'm not sure how I feel about it being sliced. Also, the fries look like they are more on the thick cut side which is definitely not my favorite. It just kind of tweaks me when places don't concentrate on making good fries.

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  3. @ Brent, I'm not sure what I was thinking, but next time I will definitely just replace the fries with sweet plantains. Some yummy plantains really would have made this meal...forget about the fries, go all the way Cuban :)

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  4. Nothin' like Cuban food! Visit www.atasteofcuba.net it's a great gift idea!

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  5. I love TATA CUBAN CAFE my self..Cuban Sandwich and Cuban coffee are my favorites

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  6. Change french fries for sweet plantains or tostones

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