Jan 16, 2024 - Food and Drink

Cubanitas offers a taste of Havana in Glendale

A bowl of stew next to a plate of white rice and shredded beef.

Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

My plans to have lunch with an old friend I hadn't seen in many years recently led me to a relatively new Cuban eatery, and it's definitely worth your time if you're on the west side.

State of play: After starting as a food truck and finding a temporary home in a Phoenix gas station, Cubanitas has what will hopefully be a more permanent location on the north side of Olive Avenue, just east of 51st Avenue, in Glendale.

What I ordered: I went with the ropa vieja — shredded beef in Cuban tomato sauce with bell peppers.

  • I had my choice of congri — Cuban rice with black beans — or bean stew, my pick, with ham and bacon on the side.

The verdict: The ropa vieja was savory and delicious — not spicy but packing lots of flavor.

  • Same goes for the bean stew, which was great on a cold day.
  • My kids can attest that the French fries are good as well, even if they're not traditional Cuban fare.

Of note: Cubanitas is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which scuttled my plans to meet my friend, so schedule your trip accordingly.

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