Padrino’s Cuban Bistro – Cuban – Orlando
We are lucky in Central Florida to live in an area relatively rich in Latin American culinary offerings. Puerto rican lechoneras, Colombian, Peruvian chicken joints, Cuban establishments and more abound in the Orlando landscape. They are mostly mom and pop type operations with small store fronts and the customary hole in the wall type atmosphere. Padrino’s, a small family owned restaurant with three branches in Florida, is one of the few exceptions to this rule.
Just north of Kissimmee on John Young Parkway, south of the SR 417, Padrino’s sits in a relatively new plaza offering its delightful, beautifully crafted Cuban dishes both traditional and with a twist.
I would dare to say that Padrino’s is the best Cuban restaurant in Orlando with the food that my partner and I enjoyed on this one late afternoon.
The decor is definitely classy, dark browns, paintings of various scenes from Cuba, a set area for Cuban musicians and performers, and a bar.
Beginning our meal we are given a plate of fried banana slivers with garlic and oil. The dish is beautifully presented, like delicate, edible fingers outstretching from the basket.
Similarly, our first order of empanadas come beautifully arranged with a unique, sweet, quava based salsa in the middle of the plate. The ground beef filled appetizers tasted as great as they looked.
For our main entrees, my partner orders the lush ropa vieja, made with shredded flank steak slow cooked with green peppers and onions in a tomato sauce and served with white rice, black beans, and sweet plantains. She loved it.
My order of lechon asado, slow roasted moist and tender pork, marinated with citrus mojo and topped with sautéed onions, was a bit dry for my likings on this occasion. On a return trip I tried the vaca frita, marinated shredded flank steak grilled to a crisp and topped with sauteed onions, and was much more delighted with the taste.
Overall the experience was enjoyable and memorable for the great tastes and presentation as well as overall good service. I would definitely come back again.
Tasty Chomps rating!
4.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!!