Thursday, October 14, 2010

El Rinconcito Cubano

My buddy DWeiss, who some of you may remember from such posts as Franks 'N' Dawgs and Vienna Beef Factory, had come so many times to eat with me in Lincoln Park that I thought it was about time for me to get out to Logan Square and pay him a visit. We pitched ideas around and came up with El Rinconcito Cubano which is right down the block from his place, and he'd been wanting to try it out for a while. I grabbed my roommates, told Sophia to meet us, and before I knew it we had a whole crew.

Logistics
El Rinconcito Cubano is a tiny place right off of Logan Square at 3238 W Fullerton. They have a few small tables and a little counter for seating. Our group of 5 was able to fit at their largest table, but I wouldn't suggest bringing more people than that. I don't think they take reservations, but I'm not sure that you'll need one. Another thing is that they're cash only.

 The service was good, and the waitress who didn't speak English too well clearly tried very hard and was still able to answer our questions. The cost is pretty reasonable with most dinners coming out to $10 including some kind of meat and multiple sides. It took a little bit of time for us to get our food, but we were in good company and hardly noticed.

The Food
For the most part we stuck to the dinner combinations. Weiss got the Bistec de Palomilla (Steak with Onions), Sophia got the Masa de Puerco (Fried Pork Chunks), Ricky got the Cuban Sandwich, Schneider got the Bistec Salteado (Pepper Steak), and I got the Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef). Each dinner came with lettuce, tomato, rice, beans, and yucca. The Bistec de Palomilla was a little well done for my taste, but the portion was gigantic. The Bistec Salteado was also overdone, but it was well seasoned and tasty. I don't know why, but the first thing I went for was the tomato, which was the most disgustingly mealy tomato I've ever eaten. I quickly went for a bite of the Ropa Vieja which was very good. It was savory with a little kick and quickly made up for the bad side veggies. The yucca was served boiled I think, and I found it pretty unappetizing. I mostly attribute this to a distaste for yucca in this form. At 90 Miles I got it fried, but I'm never going for the boiled version again.

The Bistec de Palomilla

 The Bistec Salteado

 The Ropa Vieja

 The Masa de Puerco

 The Cuban Sandwich

Overall
I thought that this was a nice little family run place, but the food was just alright. The portions were plenty large for the cost because of the quantities of meat and the sides. Still, the sides were just alright, and the meats were hit or miss often because of overcooking. Maybe I was spoiled by how good the Cuban food was at 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, but I still think El Rinconcito is significantly below that level of quality. I'm giving them 2 out of 5 Pearls.


El Rinconcito Cubano on Urbanspoon

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