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NYC

Review

Café Cortadito

$$$$

When we first reviewed Cafe Cortadito in the infancy of this website back in 2009, it had just opened and was a quaint, low-key Cuban joint that served excellent, authentic food. The menu remains pretty much untouched, but time has changed this place. Well, actually, brunch has changed this place. Significantly.

If this review were simply for dinner, it’d get a solid 7.5. Keep that in mind when you’re assessing the situation here. The Cuban dishes are just as they were - heavy-handed and tasty. The Ropa Vieja is still incredibly satisfying, and their chicken and yellow rice is a current Postmates go-to. Also, the empanadas, yuca fries, and sautéed chorizo with peppers and onions always get the job done right. What’s our problem then? Three words. Party. Time. Brunch.

We may be old (ish), but we’re young at heart. We can still get down like it’s spring break circa 2001, at least in our minds. What we’re trying to say is we can appreciate a good time, even if we’re not going to get hammered at 1pm on a Sunday anymore. However, under no circumstance is Party Time Brunch where they are blasting LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” (in 2015) at levels that would leave an infant deaf in one ear a good time. Neither is serving “all you can drink” sangria that tastes like watered-down Hawaiian Punch, or soggy lobster eggs benedict with the texture of rubber.

During bottomless, boozy brunch, this place is unbearable. Even if we were still in the phase of our lives when this was the kind of thing we were looking for, Cafe Cortadito would be the last place we’d come to, other than their next door neighbor, Poco, which is even worse.

We’re really sorry to do this, Cafe Cortadito, but brunch is such a disaster that this review rating has to come down all the way to 4.5. If you at least changed the music to something a little more current and a little less awful, we’d be willing to bump it up a point. Blast us with something good! Just put on Jamie xx’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” on repeat. It’ll make a big difference and your clientele would probably appreciate it.

Food Rundown

Yuca Frita Con Cortadito Salsa

Thick, fried yuca fingers with salsa. Two orders please.

Chorizo Salteado

My favorite appetizer on the menu. A little stir fry of sweet slices of Spanish chorizo with sautéed onions and peppers. Order it.

Empanaditas De Carne

Mini beef empanadas that always hit the spot. Can’t go wrong with fried dough stuffed with beef and topped with chimichurri salsa.

Ropa Vieja

Of the many beef entrees at Cortadito, the shredded beef in creole sauce has always been our favorite.

Churrasco (Skirt Steak)

A nice serving of one of our favorite, and most affordable, cuts of meat. Plus, chimichurri salsa.

Arroz Con Pollo

Simple, easy, and delicious, this yellow rice and Cuban chicken dish is fail-proof and the main reason we’ve been coming back all these years.

Maduros (Fried Plantains)

You’re going to need a couple orders of the plantains, obviously.

Brunch

Listen, we’re all for eggs and salsa and rice and beans and the combination of all of them together. However, on our most recent visit, the brunch dishes were a disaster. Undercooked eggs, inedible lobster benedict, and thick, bready, undercooked french toast. We could go on, but we’re going to stop. If only the food looked as good as it does in this picture! The one safe move? Arroz con pollo. Can’t go wrong with that, even at Party Time Brunch.

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