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Fuego Latino

by Sheri Elfman
Sunday May 6, 2012
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Fuego Latino, the Cuban and Latin Cuisine Restaurant on Commercial Blvd. in Oakland Park, is definitely not new to my dining repertoire. J and I are regulars at this friendly, comfortable, reliable establishment.

It’s the perfect place for us, since J loves Mexican food and I love Cuban food and Fuego serves both! We were excited to find out that we were getting sent there for a review. We always recommend the place to our friends, who now also have the fever for some Fuego. It will be nice to now spread the word to the masses!

As soon as you are seated at Fuego, you are served tortilla chips and salsa. The salsa was on the thinner side and had great flavor. We also ordered a side of guacamole which was thick, creamy and chock full of tomatoes.

Fuego serves beer, wine and margaritas and I decided to order some Sangria ($4.99). The sweet drink was just what I needed to relax me after a long day.

In the past, we had Chicken Chunks a.k.a. Chicharrones De Pollo ($6.99) as an appetizer. These fried boneless chicken chunks are marinated in a house garlic sauce and topped with sautéed onions. Since the chicken chunks aren’t breaded, I always feel healthy eating these, which, by the way, are a delicious way to start a meal.

On this trip, we tried the Stuffed Potato for $3.29 and Yuca Fries with a cilantro dipping sauce ($4.99). The stuffed potato was a fried breaded mashed potato stuffed with ground meat and topped with sour cream and was seriously a ball of fried heaven. The thick Yuca Fries were very satisfying with the delicious cilatro dipping sauce. We had trouble slowing down on these appetizers even though we knew we had to entrees coming.

Depending on my mood, when I am at Fuego Latino, I typically go between ordering the Taco Salad ($6.99), which is a flour shell filled with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, grilled chicken or beef; or Ropa Vieja ($9.99), which is shredded beef cooked in a homemade tomato base sauce with onions, bell peppers, garlic and olives. I love Ropa Vieja and Fuego Latino does it very well. The dish is served with plantains, black beans and rice and I would like to go one the record to say that Fuego Latino makes the best plantains I have ever had. I’m not sure how they do it, but they make all other plantains seem way inferior. They are sweet and caramelly and melt in your mouth.

This time, on the recommendation of Robert, Fuego’s charming manager, I ordered the Garlic Chicken Chunks ($11.99) which are boneless chicken chunks sauteed with olive oil, garlic, bell peppers and onions. The dish, which is also known as Chicharrones de Pollo Al Ajillo, is served with rice, black beans and my beloved plantains. I love garlic and would highly recommend this dish to other garlic lovers (make sure your date also orders something garlicky!

J’s usually orders Roast Pork ($8.99) also known as Lechon Asado. The traditional Cuban dish is marinated in tropical spices and then slowly oven roasted, pulled and then grilled with sautéed onions. It’s served with a side of rice and black beans and the amazing plantains. His other favorite dish is the Carne Asada a la Tampiquena ($12.99), which is grilled skirt steak served with a cheese enchilada, refried beans and rice. The skirt steak addict loves this dish and is also a huge fan of the refried beans at Fuego, which are topped with cheese. J decided to stick with this favorite this time around and I wasn’t shy about taking bites of his steak which was juicy and super tender.

We finished up with an order of tres leches ($3.99) and an order of flan ($3.59). Tres leches is my favorite dessert, which is quite funny since I am lactose intolerant. This three-Lactaid pill dessert is worth it, especially Fuego’s version of it. I am not as big of a flan fan as J, but I agreed that Fuego’s Flan was a very good, dense treat.

Fuego Latino also has a large variety of daily lunch specials, offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., which are reasonably priced between $2.99 and $10.99. The staff of this very magazine has been known to partake in these lunch specials at least once a week.

You really can’t go wrong with Fuego Latino.

Fuego Latino
1417 East Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park
954-351-7754

Fuegolatinoonline.com

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