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“Can't have just one”

Old San Juan Cuban Cuisine
Ranked #136 of 918 Restaurants in Lexington
Price range: $5 - $12
Cuisines: Cuban
Description: Homemade Authentic Cuban Food
Restaurant details
Description: Homemade Authentic Cuban Food
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Can't have just one”
Reviewed August 17, 2014

A few years back I had the pleasure of finding Old San Juan Cuban Cuisine in Lexington, KY. I remember the hospitality and wonderful, authentic Cuban Sandwich and Black beans and rice. Due to life in general, I seemed to have routinely passed up this place since.I found myself in the mood for a Cuban sandwich and instinctively turned to Old San Juan. To my delight the place hasn't changed. Little cafe with lunch room dining chairs and those faux wood tables. It was lunch so they were a bit slower with service, which was fine. I sat and listened to the Latin music being piped in and the mummers of Spanish being used by many patrons. They still had that Latin charm. The waitress approached my table with a big warm smile and asked to take my order. I ordered a Cuban sandwich with black beans and rice and a Coke. She quickly took my order. Being that they were so busy it took my order about 15 minutes to get to my table but, which was great. Two runners brought my food and politely apologized for the wait and said enjoy. The Cuban sandwich was cooked to perfection. Buttered Cuban bread lightly toasted with the ham, pork, chorizo and cheese. It was divine. Soft to bite into but still maintained that delightful crunch that I expected from the bread. The black beans and white rice garnished with two pieces of fried Plantain were next.The Plantain was delicious. Sweetened just right and fried for just a little crisp. Absolutely delicious. The black beans and rice on the other hand we're not as memorable as I thought they would be.The spices used in preparing them gave the beans a very bland almost smoky flavor which I certainly didn't expect. The Cuban bread that comes with it as well as the white rice didn't seem to help either. Perhaps an offering of lime and sour cream or some Pico De Galileo would have done the trick. I ended my meal with a Guava/Cheese turnover that had a fresh, homemade flavor you don't find just anywhere. Delicious! Overall my belly was full and I was satisfied with the meal and the service, as well as the ambiance of the place. Old San Juan may have changed ownership but it certainly has not changed it's tradition of serving of authentic Cuban cuisine and hospitality. Next time you're in Lexington Kentucky be sure to take a stop by Old San Juan and enjoy an afternoon delight.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Paul J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    25
    17
    0
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A taste of home here in Lexington!”
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Every once in a while we have to go back to our roots and have some traditional home cooking. While we aren't Cuban, the Cuban cuisine is very similar to the Puerto Rican cooking we grew up with back home. We were thrilled to find this wonderful little restaurant and were not disappointed.

We grabbed a table, browsed the menu, got a couple of ice cold drinks from the fridge and listened to salsa tunes playing while we waited for our order to be taken. The service is a bit slow, so call ahead if you are in a rush, but it was SO worth the wait!

Rice and beans, carne frita con cebolla (fried steak with onions) pernil (slow cooked pork), platanos maduros (sweet plantains), tostones (fried green plantains), empanadillas de carne (beef filled pockets) all so good! Even the drinks were authentic offering everything from ice cold Malta (non alcoholic malt beverage...an acquired taste), Cola Champagne (beware cola champagne is a full frontal sugar assault on your palette, so not for the faint at heart. My family grew up on sugar cane fields and have very sweet teeth, so of course we bought a six pack to go *_*)

The best part was that they have a small market and sell all the products so we could cook our own home cooked meals while in Lex (adobo, sazon, hamon, Goya beans, guava). We stocked up and will definitely be back for more meals here.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ScarletnBlackbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“4 Friends in search of a different cuisine”
Reviewed July 14, 2014

My husband and I and another couple are dinner pals and always love a new experience.
So,last Saturday night we tried this Cuban restaurant. The only negative was the amount
of time it took to get our food - more than an hour. We didn't know if they were short-staffed or if this was just the Saturday evening crowd. The restaurant is small - with about 8 tables with a counter that seats about 10. Also, we noticed the carry-out traffic was heavy.

The food was delicious - 2 had the pork plate & 2 had the shrimp with cuban sauce.
The best by far was the shrimp with sauce. The pork was good but needed something-maybe a sauce also. I have to say the black beans were the best I had ever had.

The dessert was homemade flan and was delicious. Overall, we were o.k. with the wait because the food was so delicious.

We decided next time we would call for take-out.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Elainie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Perfect, every time.”
Reviewed June 18, 2014

I've been visiting this small family restaurant for years. Any time, any item, always delicious. The bread is fresh and wonderful, the staff are delightful and helpful. The atmosphere is great! Took our 15 month old and her G'pa recently. We had the Cuban, Black-bean and triple sandwiches. All delicious. For desert we had their tres leches and it was heavenly. I grabbed an Iron Beer soda which turned out to be a most pleasant mix of Dr. Pepper and Root Beer. Granted, they didn't make that, but she recommended it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lawson380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indiana
Level 6 Contributor
95 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Great food, great service, great value”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

We showed up 5 minutes before closing with a party of 7. They could not have been more accommodating. Nice variety on their menu. We all had something different, and everyone was happy with their meal.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tjh780
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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