I have always enjoyed authentic Cuban cuisine but unfortunately Austin is not a hotbed of our southern neighbor’s island cuisine. And then I got an email post talking about the name change of a restaurant called Guantanamera to Cuba512 on Westgate. I’d somehow overlooked the first iteration of this spot. I wasn’t about to miss the second.
We began with an order of Yuca Fritters that were a delight. The favors were so engaging that the accompanying mojo sauce was almost superfluous. This was melt-in-your-mouth delicious with that classic texture common to the Yucca plant.
We then tried their version of the Cubano, the classic pork, ham and cheese sandwich with mustard and pickle (of course). The baguette was fresh and the sandwich was tasty albeit a trifle on the dry side.
Next up was for me, an absolute no-brainer of a choice: the classic roast pork known as Lechon Asado. The pork was amazingly tender (marinated in mojo criollo) and paired beautifully with the accompanying plantains and rice. The black beans were another tasty component. This dish is what you’d probably be served if you were invited to Sunday dinner in Havana. Since that doesn’t appear to be in my immediate future I now have a go-to option should my invitation fail to materialize.
For dessert I had a very nice flan. It was sweet but more texturally dense than most Tex-Mex versions. Marge tried a flaky and crispy empanada stuffed with sweet cherries. We enjoyed them both.
Clearly we have more exploring to do on our next visit: we’re already looking forward to their versions of Ropa Vieja and Aroz con Pollo, to name a couple. Cuba512 is a south Austin spot more than worthy of your attention.