We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good, Inexpensive Cuban food in Midtown”
Review of Tina's

Tina's
Ranked #4,675 of 14,026 Restaurants in New York City
Cuisines: Cuban
Neighbourhood: Midtown
Restaurant details
Neighbourhood: Midtown
Reviewed 1 September 2013

My son and his family were visiting us for a few days and, as usual, we took the train to New York City for the day. There were eight of us, four kids and four adults, and we were looking for a reasonably hearty lunch which would sustain us through a long day's walk in the Park, and a few hours at Moma.
Fortunately, my son used to work in Midtown, and knows a few inexpensive, good restaurants. Tina's is one of them.
The restaurant is conveniently located right on 56th street, between 5th and 6th avenues. From the outside, it doesn't look like much. The inside isn't all that impressive, either. It looks like what it is - a lunch/takeout diner selling Cuban food. It isn't licensed.
However, the food is really excellent (and inexpensive). We chose to eat there, rather than have a take-out, and they managed to find room for all eight of us.
We started with empanadas - delicious little pockets filled with chicken or beef, and served with a rather nice greenish sauce.
For entree, my wife and I chose pernil (roast pork). The price included two side dishes: I
chose fried green plantain and fried yuca, and my wife chose rice with beans, plus sweet plaintains. The meat was lean, the portions were generous, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever taste of yuca.
The restaurant was packed, but our server was very attentive.
We left, suitably fortified, and spent the rest of the day walking around the City.

We'll be back to Tina's: there are several other dishes that we'd like to try.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Hans_Sachs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (40)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

21 - 25 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2013

Oh, Tina. How I had such great hopes for us. Why do you disappoint me so?

I finally found a place that makes pan con bistec (Cuban steak sandwich) topped with a generous sprinkling of paptitas (fried potato sticks)—just the way I love it. The food itself is really really good. The bread is perfectly toasted, the meat is flavorful and plentiful...

Unfortunately, they can never get my order right!! I like my sandwich with lettuce, grilled/fried onions and papitas, but NO tomato or mayo. I've gotten delivery from them several times, both ordering by phone and online, but each time they'd either put mayo on it, or tomatoes, or both, or leave off the pepitas... Then, when I call to tell them, they just shrug it off. No apology or credit toward the next order or anything like that. It's not a cheap sandwich, either, so to spend that much $$ and have it not be right is... not right. Last time this happened, I swore them off. No more Tina's, I told myself.

But the other day I had a hankering for a pan con bistec and was in the area so I decided I'd try actually going to the restaurant. I figured I'd have a better shot of them getting it right if I'm ordering in person, right? WRONG!

The place was bustling, both the takeout line and the dining room in back. I opted for the table service and explained to my waitress about how I've ordered from them several times but they always get something wrong with my order so this time I decided to eat there. She seemed to understand my order, but when it arrived, there was no lettuce on it (even though she assured me that they always put lettuce on it unless you tell them not to). When I called her over to show that there was no lettuce, she just shrugged it off and said that's what happens when you don't get the usual toppings, trying to explain to me that they normally put mayo and mustard and lettuce and everything on and if you don't get some, well, you get what you get. She didn't apologize or offer to have it re-made or anything.

So, while their food probably deserves a 4 or 5, their (lack of) customer service and ability to modify an order is a 0 or 1. Hence, I'm averaging it to a 3.

I really, really wanted to love this place.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank girlycheckin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2013

I've never had Cuban before but I went to Tina's and it was absolutely delicious! You can't go wrong with what you order. The service is quick and the quality of the food is very good. It's very crowded in the seating area. Make sure you pour their green sauce on everything! It's addicting!

Thank JamieLynn2158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2012

everytime we're in NY, we always head back to Tina's. The food is amazing, packed with flavor, huge portions for a decent price. My boyfriend always has the pernil with rice and sweet plantains, and I love the oxtail. For takeout, it's best to go either before noon or after 1 since the lineups can get crazy! Only downside is that if you stay for a long time, you will smell like food.

1  Thank qizhang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2012

My husband and son both work near Tina's and rave about the food, so I was happy to finally have lunch there. I ordered the pernil with sides of beans and green salad. The pernil was excellent, nicely roasted with crispy bits and very tender. Beans were very good, almost soupy, with cilantro. The salad was good, with slices of avocado - but my husband had the fried sweet plantains - more calories, but much tastier.

Great value at $9 for lunch special - sit down service at fast food prices!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank GreatTravel001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Tina's also viewed

 
New York City, NY
 

Been to Tina's? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing