Authentic Cuban Cuisine Found Exclusively at F & Y El Trópico in San Antonio
**Full Disclosure: I received dinner in exchange for my review, but not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.
You no longer have to travel all the way to Cuba to find authentic Cuban Cuisine. Thanks to Floreal and Yuliam Rodriguez, who came to the Alamo City from Cuba by way of Miami. Having owned a restaurant in the south Florida city for 20 years, the couple moved to our fair city a little over a year ago for personal reasons. But no matter what brought the Rodriguez’s here, our city’s culinary palate has been enhanced with Chef Floreal’s talents.
This mom & pop restaurant, located at 6060 Montgomery Dr., Suite 100, Windcrest, TX, has an easy to find corner space in the Windcrest Square Center at the corner of Walzem Rd. and Montgomery Dr. Stepping inside I was immediately met by a few pictures of Cuba, Cuban music and hostess station which today was run by Yuliem, the Y of F & Y. This bubbly woman, with a huge smile quickly took us into the large, spotless dining room to seat us at a white and red clothed table. She explained that everything on the menu is authentic Cuban Food and is prepared fresh everyday.
As I always do when trying a new restaurant, I asked Yuliam what she would recommend I try. What is the popular dish among the restaurant’s clientele? I soon learned that pork is king on this Caribbean menu but several other dishes are close seconds. The food at F & Y El Trópico is more Cuban comfort food in lieu of elaborate presentations. The dishes here are more authentic found in a typical Cuban kitchen with home-cooking recipes focused on flavorful ingredients that are sure to win you over.
Chef Rodriguez prepares roast pork everyday, then fries it for several different dishes like the Lechon Asado platter. This dish was an ample portion of fork tender, juicy and very flavorful lean pork. There was just enough fried ends to please a carnitas lover too. I will also note here that Chef Floreal takes so much pride in his cooking that he delivers the meal to the table with a smile and a flourish. All dishes at F & Y El Trópico come with a choice of two ample sides. Although the side selection is limited, each choice is very indicative of Cuban cuisine. The Arroz Moro, a white rice and black bean blend, is a beautiful accompaniment to the pork. Even the Ensalada de la Casa, a no nonsense bed of lettuce with sliced tomatoes and onion slices, is fresh and delicious. I’m sure this is a typical salad found across this Caribbean Island in most home kitchens.
The Churrasco con Salsa Chimichurri, a grilled beef flank steak with a fragrant chumichurri sauce, was lightly seasoned and cooked to perfection. I added a side of Maduros, sliced sweet plantains, to my order and loved all the intriguing flavor combinations. Can’t go to the Caribbean without eating plantains! And I couldn’t go to Cuba without trying Potage de Frijoles Negros, black bean soup. This was my second side choice today and it came out in a large bowl full of creamy beans. Loved it!!
I know that if we could have kept eating, we would have found other dishes like the Ceviche de Pezcado, fish ceviche appetizer, or the Ropa Vieja a la Cubana, shredded beef in Cuban Sauce, would have been just as delicious. And word on the street has it that this is the best place in town for a real Cubian Sandwich, so I know what I will be back to try next.
However, I will say we still had room for dessert. And choosing a sweet here was a no brainer for me. I had to try the homemade Flan de Trópico. This creamy custard with caramel oozing on the plate was the proper ending and a must try in my opinion.
It was recommended we also try a cup of Cortadito, a Cuban coffee drink akin to a sweet, rich latte. Thank you for making this drink for us Yulaim. It was exquisite!
We will definitely be back for more of Chef Floreal’s cooking and Yuliam’s stories.
F & Y El Trópico has plans to turn their small outside patio into an area for cigar smoking and offering Cuban cigars for sale. My husband and his stogie club will, for sure, be back here for that.
Location: 6060 Montgomery Drive, Suite 101, Windcrest TX 78239
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday – Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Facebook: F&Y El Trópico/Restaurant