Grandview Public Market’s list of vendors keeps growing, and this time they have added the ubiquitous Cuban food with El Cochinito. Dishing up slow-roasted pork and other traditional eats since 1988, this family-owned Cuban eatery that hails from California opened its first location in Florida inside the Grandview’s food hall, September 1st.
El Cochinito, which means “The Little Pig,” brings a menu inspired in traditional homestyle Cuban cuisine, including staple foods like Cuban sandwich, roast pork, fried plantains, rice and beans, and shakes. Their food have earned them major accolades, quite recently, when they participated at the International Cuban Sandwich Festival in Ybor City, Tampa, and walked away first-place in the traditional Cuban sandwich category.
The new eatery at Grandview Public Market opened in the place where Clare’s Chicken and Wine shop used to be—now they have squeezed left to El Cochinito. Their short menu includes popular Cuban food that’ll make a good lunch or meal for anyone, anytime.
They feature three sandwiches: Cubano, Cochinito, and Lechón. A Cochinito sandwich includes pork, sweet plantains, and onions; while Lechón consists of pork and onions. Their signature sandwich seems to be the “Cubano.”
It comes loaded with ham, sliced roast pork, and Swiss cheese with a coat of yellow mustard and pickles, all spread inside a fresh Cuban bread slightly pressed. It tasted really good, though as a personal preference, I would have appreciated a little more marinated mojo inside.
Lechón Asado and Vegetariano are the main two entrees at El Cochinito inside Grandview Public Market. Both are based on slowly cooked roast pork and served with rice, beans, and plantains. The difference is Vegetariano comes with an avocado salad. Typical Cuban food!
The lechon asado (roast pulled pork) is served with white rice and black beans (not congrí rice) mixed together, fried ripe plantains, all topped with onions. The meat exuded great flavor coming from its marinade and it was really juicy and cooked to perfection!
And the flan!
A “Cuban Flan de Leche’ is a classic Cuban recipe for a dessert made with caramel, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla. The Flan is a wonderfully rich dessert, creamy like a very rich custard; good to eat either warm or cold. Tip when eating a flan: slice it and spoon a little of the melted sugar onto the top of the slice.
As a typical eatery serving traditional Cuban food, you can’t go without the milkshakes. El Cochinito offers mango, guanabana, banana, and mamey shakes, all tropical fruits very popular in the Cuban cuisine.
At El Cochinito inside Grandview Public Market the food’s pretty rustic which definitely makes it more fun to try, paving the way for a family-style dining if you come with friends or relatives. Pretty much the way Cubans would do it.
Grandview’s food continues to bridge all kinds of cuisines, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, American, and now Cuban; bringing people together with their wonderful flavors.
And get ready. I hear there’s a BBQ looming up!