Cuban Petes always satisfies.
Cuban Petes is an authentic Cuban restaurant that doesn’t only bring you the flavors of the island, but the cultural flare of Cuba.
Heading down the avenue, you can’t miss Cuban Petes restaurant, dressed in palms and musically apt with the sounds of the island. If you’re driving by, you will not find parking right out front. Instead, you’ll see the space is filled by an old model truck specific to the restaurant. Don’t worry; there is parking in the rear. As you make your way to number 428, aim to the right side alleyway with over-arching trees to enter. Assume the ducking position as you enter the island; you will walk through one side of the restaurant with an outdoor atmosphere with hanging lights above. Once you make your way to the hostess stand, you may have to put your name down for the wait, but embrace an easy-going attitude – you’re now on Cuban Petes island time.
Deciding on Cuban for cuisine, you choose to give your palate a try at the mix of Spanish and Caribbean spices. Cuban Petes offers a menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts, but what is dining island style sans tapas and sangria? The food is reasonably priced and unique to the Montclair restaurant scene. That could be why they always seem busy, but being busy also means they must make good food.
For those like me who didn’t know tapas before they took on this new test of foodie endearment, they are small portions or appetizers in Spanish cuisine. They are typically low in price, so you can order a few to try. Among Cuban Petes one section dedicated to this first course, you will find names such as Chicharon de Pollo and Queso Frito. Fear not understanding what they may be – have a look under the name for a description. Who could then resist “crispy chicken lollipops” or “fried cheese?” At just $4.95 and $3.95, why resist either!
For your entrée, the menu is designed for exactly what you are searching for in your Cuban Petes island adventure. If you’d rather a new taste, an old taste or a classic Cuban taste, they design for your search to be easily attained. It is the choice that will be the hard decision, having descriptions such as “grilled half boneless chicken with lime sangria mojo, served with coconut rice and mango coconut yams,” as Carlito’s Way Chicken an option, you may not want to look any further.
Further from choosing your meal, entertain your taste with a dozen different sangria options to choose from. Bring your own rum and relax as they pour your bottle into a fresh mix of fruits. Habana Vieja appeals with coconuts, cinnamon sticks, tangerines and pineapples, but then again the citrus sangrias may add that touch of the sun. Finally finish off your meal with a dessert you’d think only to be served on an actual getaway. Cuban Petes Flan de Mi Tierra appears to be a secret recipe, but I don’t need to know the recipe when mango and cocoa is followed by custard.
Now that you are focused on the tropics and you are warming up your car to jet set to Cuban Petes, I only suggest thinking of the time and day you are planning your trip. Like all trips, plan ahead, and I suggest a weekday to reserve your stay. Saturdays there are no reservations between 6-9 p.m., and if you plan between these hours on this particular day, arrive early or expect a bit of time to relax. If a weekday does suit you, Monday through Thursday Pete’s is open between 12 p.m. and 11 p.m. If you are a weekend stay-cationer, Friday and Saturday plan your destination between noon and midnight or Sunday from noon to 11 p.m.
Between the traditional food and the sounds of the island, the wooden décor and the servers to complete this Cuban Petes experience, you will get one night in paradise, with the right time and day there will be no lack of escape.
For Cuban Petes complete menu, directions, hours of service or to listen to some island tunes, you can go to their website at cubanpetesrestaurant.com.