Sazon Cuban Cuisine - North Beach
I picked up some takeout from this place a couple weeks ago and forgot to write up anything about it, even though it was pretty good.Sazon is on the corner of Collins Ave. and 73rd Street in North Beach, along the little strip that also has Manolo across the street (side note - Manolos claims the best churros in the world - trust me, they're not). I popped my head in to pick up my order and the place is somewhat upscale by neighborhood Cuban restaurant standards - not fancy, but pretty clean and polished and comfortable looking. Staff there were also super-friendly.
We got a starter of garbanzos fritos, along with a pechuga de pollo (grilled chicken breast - I know, boring) and rabo encendido (oxtails). The garbanzos were a real stand-out, delicious and generously studded with chorizo and ham. The oxtails were also good, modestly spiced but nonetheless very tender and flavorful. The chicken was also good, not dried out despite having to travel for takeout, topped w/ sweet caramelized onions and perked up w/ a squeeze of lime. Sides were OK - I like more porkiness in my congri, the yuca could have used some more mojo, black beans and rice were fine.
But overall I thought everything was quite good, particularly if you're on the beach and get a hankering for Cuban food. I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of Cuban food due to the almost pathological aversion to bold flavors and any spicing other than garlic onion and lime or sour orange, but this still hit the spot for me. Prices may be slightly higher than the average Cuban place (entrees mostly in the $10-15 range other than seafood items which go higher) but the place is a little nicer looking than most too.
Is this where Panna was? I'm down in that neighborhood a few times a year (my mom spends the winter in MB) and I love that part of the beach. Panna, especilaly when it first opened was a great place to go when we didn't want to drive far, and wanted to be able to park. Through you and Advisorgirl, I've been exploring other options in this area, and in Normandy Circle. I'll be down to see my mom during the holidays, and we'll check out Sazon. By the way, I'm with you on Cuban food, but sometimes, that's what my "comrades" from up north want to try.
You and AG always come up with great suggestions, and I really enjoy reading your posts! Keep it up!