Cuban Comfort Food Antojitos on North Tamiami

Todays News

The term “comfort food,” when applied to any cuisine, most often implies the food is a staple of the culture from which it comes. Usually made of cheap ingredients and designed to fill as many bellies as possible with hearty calories, “comfort food” in the US might include mac-and-cheese, fried chicken, baked beans, hot dogs, or any other selection of ballpark or soul food. For Cubans, comfort food takes many delicious forms, from sandwiches to braised meats and pork cooked a half-dozen ways.

At Antojitos on North Tamiami Trail, no single item from the comfort food realm is left out. Café con leche, Cuban sandwiches and fruit shakes all tantalize, but the hot prepared foods beckon like the warm glow of an oil lamp. A combo meal includes any meat entrée with two sides, and for those unfamiliar with Cuban food outside of roast pork or Cuban sandwiches, a meal of picadillo, tostones and yellow rice are a great place to explore. Picadillo is made of ground beef seasoned with sofrito and olives and finishes something like a Bolognese meat sauce. Tostones are twice fried plantains, with the first go softening them for a wooden press before being fried again into crunchy, starchy patties. The yellow rice gets its color from the chicken bouillon used in the pot, while a dash of chopped vegetables give it color texture more than significant flavor.  

For bonus points, pick out one of the three signature Cuban sodas from the cold case—Iron Beer (think of it as Cuban-style root beer), Materva (maté flavored soda) or Jupiña (pineapple soda).

Antojitos, 3232 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Click here for menu and more information.

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