Being in Florida for a good 3 days and all we had to show for it was a chain restaurant and Disney grub - not exactly an impressive array of eats. Hence, we needed to find something more representative of the local cuisine. However, staying at a theme park for the whole day left a black hole of options for food. So we ended up at Padrino's Cuban Cuisine, which served to be a quasi-interesting dinner in comparison our previous meals (and yes, you don't need to point out that this was yet another chain restaurant...).
We were greeted by a friendly woman who was very pleasant to deal with throughout our meal. Arriving as a complimentary starter, the Fried Plantains were pretty good in our opinion. They were super crunchy, not greasy and nicely salted. The accompanying garlic dipping sauce further amped up the flavours. For my first dish (yes, I got another), I had the Cubano which was quite acceptable considering the type of restaurant. The bread was crunchy and not too heavy while there was an ample amount of ham, roasted pork and cheese. Personally, I would've liked more pickles and mustard, but that could've been easily rectified.
For my second dish, I had the Pollo Asado served with rice, black beans and sweet plantains. Although the chicken was roasted with a well-rendered and attractively hued skin, the meat itself was rather dry (including the thigh). I did like the sweet plantains though as they were nicely caramelized. Viv opted for the Lechon Asado with arroz moro and yucca. As much as the shredded pork was pretty dry, it was really flavorful and benefited from the light kiss from the flattop. The acidity and garlickiness from the citrus mojo brought the dry pork to life. We also liked the yucca as it was garlicky and soft (in its sticky way).
Another reason we picked Padrino's was that they had a reasonably-priced kid's menu. Our kids were not very adventurous and decided to go with the Grilled Cheese (grilled cheese & ham pictured). By looking at the picture, if you thought a quasi-Cubano without the pork and pickles, you'd be right. In the end, Padrino's did the job in a comfortable environment.
- Friendly service
- Decent portion sizes
- A bit pricey
- Proteins were a bit dry