Homestyle Cuban in Logan Square
It's a wonderful thing to live in a city where there will always be spots you haven't tried. Chicago has too many restaurants for anyone to ever be able to say they've been to them all. So while I'd driven by Tropicuba on countless occasions I never stopped in until another Logan Square steak sandwich purveyor (Cafeteria Marianao) closed. With the closing of my go-to spot for a great Latin American Steak sandwich I finally decided to give Tropicuba a try. With that I turned a bad into a good.
Locals Favorite in Logan Square
As the name implies Tropicuba is a Cuban restaurant. In Florida this would mean they probably make a pretty respectable Cuban sandwich. However in Chicago, where we dont quite have the Cuban bread that you'll find in Florida, we tend to visit Cuban joints for the steak sandwich. Tropicuba proudly calls themselves "The Home of the Steak Sandwich" and it's something I always wondered about. So my first trip in was a no-brainer as far as what to order. I got their signature steak sandwich and will happily say it's every bit as good as the version at Marianao was. What I like about this sandwich was the fact they weren't in a rush to get them out and thus the bread crisped real nice. The red onions have a nice mojo garlic kick to them and the steak wasn't chewy at all. This is a good one.
Famous Steak Sandwich
On my first trip in a couple other menu items caught my eye and I've since returned for them. On my second visit I decided to try their Cuban Burrito. Made with the same steak (although it's chopped up) and also black beans and rice this was a satisfying lunch. It's a carb bomb but it's made with care.
Cuban Steak Burrito
Perhaps the most interesting section on the menu is the sign advertising Chino Cubano fried rice. This would be Cuban-Chinese food. The Chinese have settled pretty much everywhere on the globe and when they do so a new cuisine is born mixing Chinese with whatever is local. At Tropicuba their fried rice is made with wok fried yellow rice as well as red peppers, the aforementioned marinated red onions, and plantains. You pick the meat. I thought the pork fried rice pictured below was worth a return. I plan on making it part of my day sometime in the near future as Tropicuba has a new regular. Nice people and good food. It's a shame it took me so long to stop in but better late than never.
Pork Fried Rice
3000 W Lyndale St
Chicago, IL 60647