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“Better than authentic”
Review of Cuba de Ayer

Cuba de Ayer
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Ranked #1 of 30 Restaurants in Burtonsville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $18
Cuisines: Cuban
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Having eaten at Cuba Libre in downtown DC, Cubana in Silver Spring, and having just returned from 10 days in Cuba, this is the best place for Cuban food by far.

Four of us dined there last night, wanting to relive our recent trip to Cuba for the Havana Jazz Fetival. They don't take reservations and were packed on a Saturday evening, but the 20 min wait (outdoors, since the place is really small) was more than worth the wait. Lechon asada was better than in Cuba, probably because it was perfectly seasoned, unlike Cuba where it is difficult for restaurants to get spices and food is often blander than expected. Save room for tres leches or flan, both are outstanding. Portions are huge and we'll be enjoying our leftovers tonight! Atmosphere is cozy, service is very attentive and friendly, good Cuban music in the background. You can miss it from the highway, tucked away in a garish strip center. Don't be put off, it is great food, great value!

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Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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178 - 182 of 223 reviews

Reviewed December 23, 2012

Great music, service and food. The combination appetizer was great, and even my wife who isn't too adventerous with food, loved it. We also had a great beef dish with plaintains and beans and rice and a Cuban sandwich, which were also great. The Mojito was one of the best I ever tasted. Although not much to to look at from the outside, the inside, menu and music were well worth the trip to Burtonsville.

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Thank Albert P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

This is the place to have Cuban food. It is going to be packed on Saturday and Sunday nights-the wait is worth it. However, if having a lot of patience is not your thing go around lunch time. The arroz con pollo, the ropa vieja, the maduros and the rellenos will keep you coming back for more. I know that it keeps me coming back. When friends visit this is the restaurant of choice. Of course they are always surprised by the location (don't be) and the long lines (see comment about lunch time) but they always love the food. Icing on the cake- the prices are reasonable, staff friendly and the sangria pretty good.

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Thank Heather T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Burtonsville is a bit of a trip from DC and the Maryland suburbs, but it's well worth traveling to this restaurant for the food. Best ropa vieja in the city! Don't be put off by the location in the little shopping center and if there is a wait for a table, just be patient.

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1  Thank Gemini607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We brought 2 friends from Oklahoma City to Cuba de Ayer last night so they could try something different. We had been here about a year ago on a Saturday noontime and liked the food. This time it was Saturday night about 7:30 and the place was really packed; we got a table after 15 minutes and the wait was definitely worth it. The featured shrimp and avocado appetizer was delicious, as were the beef and chicken empanadas. My husband got the beef stew with rice and beans (Christianos and Moros). The stew was thick and very flavorful as were the sides. Our 12 year old guest got the fried chicken breast (I forget the actual name) and ate it all. My other guest and I had small side salads with a nice house dressing and sandwiches. He liked his Cubana and I really liked the slow-cooked pork sandwich. It was so big I took half home. The food is well-seasoned but not spicy hot. Aside from the great food, the staff was fabulous; very friendly and attentive to our needs. There was lively Cuban music playing but it wasn't so loud that we couldn't hear each other; it just provided great atmosphere in the background. Next time, I won't wait so long to return. Try it; you'll like it!

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Thank mom1cats3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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