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Monday, April 8, 2013

Best Cuban Food in Key West

You have to get off the beaten path in Key West for some of the island's best Cuban food. Navigating the residential neighborhoods, I came upon El Siboney on the corner of Catherine and Margaret streets. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it red brick building was bustling with the local lunch crowd and a healthy dose of visitors in the know. Although I was welcomed by a hearty greeting in English, a mélange of languages from Spanish to Japanese filled the air. I was quickly seated at a simple diner-style table covered in a chili pepper-patterned tablecloth. Photos of Cuba and a life-size wooden Indian — a nod to the namesake Cuban tribe — served as décor. 

The waitress brought out a basket of fresh Cuban bread, and I tore into the addictive crispy slices. The warm puffy center was slathered in melted butter, and I was in heaven. I barely looked at the menu, as the roast pork sandwich is my usual. It came with two lime wedges on the side to squeeze onto the moist pork, bringing out the garlic and citrus flavors of the mojo marinade. A side plate overflowing with fried plantains was so sweet, I didn’t even need dessert. 

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