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Venerable Cuban cafe; reservations are accepted on weekdays only.

Our Review

It's hard to tell when you first walk in to Cafe Laguardia whether it's a restaurant or a knockoff of Disney World's Animal Kingdom. The exposed ductwork is painted with zebra stripes and cheetah spots; curtains are leopard print and chairs cheetah print; brightly painted bird figurines hang from the ceiling and lizards adorn the walls. Fortunately, theme-park decor doesn't mean theme-park food, and everything we tried at this traditional Cuban joint ranged from decent to excellent. Fried plantains and fluffy papas rellenas were perfectly cooked, while black bean soup had a nice depth of flavor with a subtle kick. I wasn't as big a fan of the Brazilian red snapper as Rachael Ray (whose visit to the restaurant is featured on its website) apparently is, but the sauce was tasty if slightly bland. Better was the Brazilian pork sandwich, marinated and slow-roasted; they also make a mean pulled pork sandwich. There's a bar and a full cocktail list.

Julia Thiel

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Price: $$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

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