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el rincon cuban - review

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I checked out the Cuban place in Kensington Market recently, to general delight, but not all related to the food.

Bear in mind that my friend and I only tried three items, so this is hardly a real review.

We had the roast pork sandwich, the roast pork dinner plate, and fried green plantains. To begin with, the portions are huge and very inexpensive, so this place offers great value (both the sandwich and the main plate could easily be shared by two people - we took home leftovers).

I am not a fan of the Cuban pork sandwich because it includes slices of ham, which I don't like. But my friend really enjoyed it, and I thought it was well balanced - good amount of meat but not overflowing, with tasty dressing and some lettuce etc. The bread got a bit mushy on one side, but it didn't fall apart. They also have a pork sandwich without the ham.

The roast pork dinner, however, suffered by lacking the condiments of the sandwich. I found the meat quite dry and flavourless, but the rice with peas was very tasty - fluffy, moist but not overly heavy, and nicely herbed. It came with a green salad, dressed with a lemon vinagrette.

We also had the fried green plantains, which are basically unripe, lacking the plaintain's usual sweet flavour. They are sliced small, and fried to a crisp on both sides, dressed with pieces of tomato. We liked their crunchiness, although others might find them a bit dry and/or lacking distinct flavour.

Overall, the food was extremely mild - no spice at all. We got a bottle of their home-made hot sauce to add some kick. The sauce was quite tasty but also lacked any real heat, although it added nice flavour to our dishes.

So overall, we have mixed feelings about our selections, but the menu is quite large and there is lots to go back for. In fact, my initial choice was ceviche but they were out of it.

The couple running the place, and the staff, are incredibly nice. We spent most of our time chatting with the waitress who served us, but both of the owners came by either with food or to check on us as well. The place itself is very homey, and the owners ask visitors to leave a comment on the walls (several walls are already covered with signatures and well wishes).

So - I would encourage people to check it out, it's a great addition to the market (it's on Augusta two blocks north of Kensington). I will definitely be back, trying other things.

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