We've been to Azucar, El Tropical, Rincón cubano; Cuba-Italia remains our favorite Cuban restaurant in Cape Coral. It's the smallest, for sure, and maybe that's why: it's a friendly, neighborhood place, and many of the folks who come in to eat or get take-out know each other and the owners and staff. Though small, the interior is clean, bright, and cheerful, with one wall covered with pictures of old-time movie stars (I'd forgotten all about Farley Granger! but where's Faith Domergue?!) The owner and sometime chef, Roger, always tenders a warm welcome accompanied by a big smile, and the servers, though some have little English, are friendly and solicitous. And then there's the food! Lots of wonderful standards (ropa vieja, picadillo, croquetas and empanadas, yucca and stuffed potatoes, a variety of sandwiches...); but also daily specials (roast pork, rabo encendido (oxtails), beef with potatoes, pork fricassee, roast chicken, and more), that come with a choice of sides: depending on the day, black or red beans, lentils, white or yellow rice, congri, tostones, maduros. I'm hungry just thinking about it! Everything is hot and delicious, servings are copious, and prices are low. There is beer in the cooler, and a limited wine selection is available. Finish up your meal with an espresso, Cuban coffee, or café con leche and you'll already be planning your next visit.
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