KC hounds--Caliente's hours?
Can anyone tell me when the new Cuban restaurant in the Legends (KC,KS) is serving? I haven't been able to find that info on their site, and can't get an answer at the phone number on their site either. I'm rarely up in that area, but want to try the restaurant. (I was going to go this past Tuesday, for instance, but when they weren't answering the phone, I wondered if they were serving and drove elsewhere.)
Okay, replying to my own post! We finally made it to Caliente, and it turns out they're open every day of the week, lunch and dinner. We figured Friday night it was a safe bet they'd be open, and it turns out this was unnecessary. Seven days a week, how unusual. I like the colorful atmosphere, and the planters outside are gorgeous. It looks like they have a rooftop deck, which I wonder how they'll use. It was a beautiful evening, so we wished there were tables up there.
The food was a mixed bag. We ordered the mixed appetizer plate, and enjoyed the one beef empanada on it. Tender, flaky pastry, though the beef was a little bland, much improved with the medium spicy salsa roja. Speaking of which, the appetizer plate arrived without accompanying salsas. We waited about 5 minutes for the salsa and the mojo, which were absolutely necessary to the appetizers. They said something about having to make more...and mojo wasn't very garlicky to my taste, though not bad by any means. The tostones were yummy, as were the crispier plantain chips. I didn't get one of the croquettes, sorry no report on those. Fried chicken was all dark meat, tender inside and crispy out.
The sandwiches were a little less interesting. They seemed somewhat Americanized to me, made on industrial baguettes, more cottony than flavorful. For some bizarre reason, the insides were buttered rather than the exterior before griddling. So the sandwiches came out more mushy than crispy, not at all what I was expecting. The pork leg and ham with swiss was quite tasty, but there were no pickles as the menu described. We had to ask for them, and they greatly improved the flavor of the sandwich. The chicken was boring, despite lots of grilled red onions, just no bite or spice whatsoever. I added liberal amounts of salsa roja to perk it up. When I've had Cuban style sandwiches before, they were griddled and pressed nearly flat, and the cheese oozed out and made a crispy edge. They also usually included dijon mustard, which made them more flavorful. Maybe these are Cuban sandwiches for Kansans? I think Caliente could improve their sandwiches. They came with yucca fries, which were fantastic. Crispy and earthy and yummy, yummy, yummy. They were out of tres leches on Friday night, phooey. The other options, a rum cake, a kahlua cake, or flan were less appealing. Our server said the ice cream freezer was broken. Service was good and personable, if a little slow from the kitchen for the sandwiches. (They were very busy and we were glad we'd ordered appetizers. I didn't wear a watch, so I have no objective measure, though.) I heard Spanish spoken between customers and servers, which was nice.
All in all, I think I'd return and try the ceviche with a mojito next time, and hope they had tres leches cake!