There is no longer a need to scuttle to Hialeah or Y'bor City, authentic Cuban cuisine is now doing the rumba in Louisville. Though there have been imitations in the past, the River City can now boast of a bona fide treasure.
Mambo Cuban Cuisine, located in the Iroquois Manor shopping center on South 3rd Street, is foodboyz.com first south end entry. The menu breathes traditional Cuban fare. Portions are enormous, but what else would be expected from our Cuban friends who know that part of enjoying life is their cuisine.
Chef Yovany had the "A-game" going the night we sauntered over. We began with appetizers of Tonstones Rellenous de Picadillo (green plantain shells with minced beef hash seasoned Cuban style) and Papa Rellenas con Carne (golden potato balls filled with ground beef and pork) .... fantastico. Choosing a libation was made easy with beer and wine recommendations listed on the menu. Entrees included Masitas de Cerdo Fritas (seasoned with Mojo then fried pork morsels with side dishes of Yuca frita and Congris (black beans and white rice with small pieces of pork) and Arroz con Pollo, the classic Latino dish (large pieces of chicken cooked in a savory colorful yellow rice with a hint of saffron and vegetables).
Mojo (not Austin Powers libido but just as powerful) is the key ingredient with many Cuban dishes. Pronounced "mo-ho" this Cuban mainstay infuses citrus juices, garlic, peppers, onions and olive oil into a delectable sauce. The plantain, a member of the banana family, is a Cuban favorite and can be readily found with numerous dishes.
The restaurant is airy with just the proper understated decor. A baby grand piano might seem out of place; however, after hearing the Cuban music played by owner and concert pianist, Javier Cendejas, you'll swear the only thing missing is the lit end of a Monte Cristo. On Tuesday's and Saturday's live Cuban music resonates.
Service was outstanding as our bilingual server explained each menu item, its tastes and recommended sides. Several visits by owners Javier and Vivian added that special touch.
Joy to those who have boasted about Mambo to the foodboyz, we concur. Make your next Alternative Eat Mambo Cuban Cuisine; it's a pleasant surprise and a great casual dining experience-Cuban style.©
Mambo CubanCuisine, 5309 Mitscher Avenue, Louisville, KY 40214 502.363.1160