Last week, my co-worker Alicia suggested that we visit Tina’s Cuban Cuisine after reading about it in Time Out New York’s Cheap Eats Issue. Â I’ve tried Cuban cuisine in the past, and was not a big fan, but figured I’d give it one more try before I crossed it off my list. Â Our co-worker Paul decided to join us as well and suggested I try the Cuban sandwich. Â Since it sounded like their signature sandwich (with Cuban in the title), I decided to give it a try.
We headed over to Tina’s and the restaurant really took me back to my elementary school days. Â While the sandwiches were reheated over in a separate area, the other dishes were served in a cafeteria type setting, with employees scooping out rice and plantains. Â While there was an area to sit at, we had to head back to work. Â My sandwich came to about $7.50 and the woman at the counter tossed in some spicy green sauce.
If you aren’t familiar with a Cuban sandwich, the sandwich is warm and consists of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. Â While the mustard was great on the sandwich, I felt the pork to be a little dry. Â Luckily, I remembered I had this spicy green sauce which made the sandwich absolutely phenomenal and it added great flavor. Â While I think 7.50 is a little pricy for a sandwich when I can split a footlong at SubwayÂ for $5, this was a nice change of pace. Â I really have nothing to compare Tina’s too – it was good, but I’m not an expert in Cuban. Â I’d definitely order the sandwich again, but I’d like to try other Cuban restaurants to see if a) I can find one cheaper or that throws in a couple sides and b) if Tina’s really sets the bar for Cuban in Manhattan.
Guest Post by Alicia Wells, Weehawken Correspondent
Iâ€™ve been trying to broaden my taste horizons lately and try new cuisines (Iâ€™m a picky eater) so I was excited to try Tinaâ€™s Cuban.Â I can say that I now like Cuban food, but Iâ€™m not so sure I loved Tinaâ€™s.Â I got the porkchops with red sauce, black rice & beans, and sweet plantains.Â Overall, the flavors were delicious and I really enjoyed the concept, but not so much the execution. The porkchops were pretty dry and though they looked big, they were mostly bone.Â The rice and beans also tasted good, but again, were dry.Â The sweet plantains were amazing though, and for my first try I was really pleased.Â They reminded me of Girl Scout camp when we used to cook bananas and chocolate in tin foil over the fire (without the chocolate, of course).Â Iâ€™ll probably go back one more time to give them another shot, but Paul said thereâ€™s a better Cuban place nearby so Iâ€™d like to try that as well.The Basics Name: Tina’s Cuban Cuisine Location: 179 Madison Ave between 33rd and 34th (also a Midtown East location) Who to Bring: Co-workers, Self Price: Under 10. Â $ Overall: Â Just a little too dry. Â 3 stars.