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Jan 7, 2010 03:43 AM

Pilar Cuban Eatery in Brooklyn

393 Classon Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 623-2822

Place opened up in September.. A small little kitchen with a few tables, this place is turning out some serious Cuban Food.. All the food is lovingly prepared by this husband and wife team.. Everything is made in house.. Empanadas dough, pie dough, soups, desserts, and smoked chorizo. They have a rotating menu based on daily specials.. They have some stand byes like pernil everyday but, the soups and specials change daily..

Caldo gallego was really good.. Made with in house made smokey chorizo.. Chef was nice enough to split and order between the three of us..

A few different empanadas.. We tried a picadillo and a smoked short rib.. Short rib was awesome.. Was stuffed well with nicely smoked and super tender short ribs..

plate of vaca frita.. Basically, braised skirt steak that is then fried in onions.. Seriously good version.. Amazing version actually..

Pernil is off the hook too.. I only can imagine what the Cuban Sandwich tastes like.. Though we all had knives, they remained clean and used. Super tender, so moist.. I loved this, as did everyone.. Often times you get this dry crap.. When its bad its bad but, this was sublime.

Really good passion fruit flan.. We tasted cream cheese but, he says no.. I dont know about this.. :rolleyes:

Cream cheese and guava pie.. Homemade flakey pie crust.. Nice with a few cortaditos..

I wish these guys luck. This is a true labor of love and they are knocking out some of the best Cuban Food I have had. They deliver to my house too!

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  1. Wow - that looks excellent! Do you know if they have beer or, if not, if they're BYO?

    I'm thinking a bowl of LI fish chowder and a cubano or media noche are soon in my future. (And hopefully before I go to Tampa, another Cuban stronghold and, depending on who you believe, where the cubano was invented, later this month.)

    1. thanks for the heads up, although as a former Miami girl, the menu seems a bit too fusiony to me...where's the garlic lemon chicken steak or palomilla steak--those are basics that should be cuban food--and haven't had anywhere near as good as Miami in NY.

      6 Replies
      1. re: janie

        I am very familiar with Cuban food as my wife is Cuban... This menu is very straight forward and traditional.. I don't see signs of fusion.. What makes you think there is fusion.

        1. re: Daniel76

          I read through the entire menu online, and this was my impression from ingredients of many dishes, as well as their text from their site,--but if I'm in the area, I'll give it a try.

          " New Take on Some Old Standards"

          While we keep the traditional dishes, traditional, we also leave room to play around a bit, employing different ingredients in typical recipes, such as our smoked and braised short-rib empanadas in a corn and yuca dough, served with a guava barbeque sauce. There is also a corn and fish empanada, which corn in a b├ęchamel sauce, local bluefish, a hint of Vermont Cheddar, and scallions, in the same yuca-corn dough. Our Sriracha Chicken-Mango wrap, has our mojo-marinated Rotisserie chicken (distinctly Cuban) in a house-made Sriracha (Chinese chili paste) flavored mayo with diced mangos and Arugula. "

          1. re: janie

            Jesus, I didnt read any of that siracha and mango wrap stuff.,. I didnt really see any of that going on there.. All that was there when we went was traditional Cuban Food.. Yikes. Don't judge the place on those dishes.

            1. re: Daniel76

              Tried this place on Saturday night. First off, it's *tiny* - not really a restaurant per se but more of a take out place with a table and limited counter-y seating. Maybe room for 10-12 people tops. It's cute, but tiny.

              Second, the food is great. Best cubano I've had in the city, better than El Sitio even back when they were turning out good food. Key West conch soup was excellent, made even better but the addition of some pickled hot peppers. My wife got the garbanzo frito - chick peas, ham, and house-made chorizo (incredibly tasty, but could have used more of this) in a sofrito sauce, served with white rice. Spot on and filling.

              Oh, they're closed Mondays now and the dishes of the day have changed a little from the menu listed on their website.
              All in all it was excellent and, being so close to the G train stop at Classon, I imagine will become a regular addition to my lunch options.

        2. re: janie

          Even though the menu has some fusion type dishes on balance it looks mainly traditional. They do differentiate between Cuban bread & medianoche bread which is a good sign that they may be the real thing. However, I don't see yuca con mojo on the menu which is a red flag for me.
          I will give it one try and evaluate it for myself. For me the basics like the rice, bread & platanos need to be correct.
          I'm always looking for a traditional Cuban restaurant but, without much success. There are too many places in the metro area that advertise themselves as Cuban simply as a marketing gimmick.
          My go to place for Cuban food has always been Victors. Maybe Pilar will be the next Victors.

          1. re: makko

            I'll need to try this one out, as another former born-and-raised Miami kid, the closest I've come to enjoying Cuban food is a plate of roasted chicken over rice with maduros and a guanabana milkshake at Margon in Midtown. There is a dearth of conch dishes around here (that aren't from Chinese restaurants) and I still haven't seen cracked conch anywhere.

            Has anyone tried their key lime pie?