Yes, Americans can now legally travel to Cuba and feast on Cuban cuisine, but why take a plane when you can drive to Somerville and dine at Martino’s, an eatery that has been open since 1992?
The night we were at Martino’s in Somerville, the restaurant was full of frolicking families and although the Latin music, TV’s and customers were loud, we had a muy bueno time. A few colorful Cuban-themed paintings add some ambiance, but this is a very casual storefront restaurant offering large portions and low prices. Our dinner with tax and tip was $32 per person.
There were four of us and the Combo Cubano gave us a sampling of the appetizers. It included: empanadas, which had more mashed potatoes than meat; croquettes and stuffed clams (both of which tasted like mashed potatoes); fried yucca, and sweet plantains. Everything was fried except the clams. All were enjoyed although too many items tasted like mashed potatoes. Entrees were a hit but be forewarned that almost half of all the plates were filled with rice and black beans. Pernil Asado had chunks of roasted pork sautéed with garlic, onions and peppers in a slightly tangy mojo sauce; pulled, roasted pork sautéed with garlic, onions and pepper came in a red sauce; yellow rice combined with pieces of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and olives had six perfectly cooked medium size shrimp; and a crunchy piece of pork skin topped a roasted pork with red peppers and onions. All of the dishes came with plantains. Only two desserts were offered: a creamy flan caramel and tres leches cake consisting of a vanilla sponge cakes soaked in three milks and topped with whipped cream.
Martino’s is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. An all you can eat buffet lunch is offered Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM.
212 W Main Street
Martino’s shrimp and rice with black beans and plantains.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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