Tina’s Cuban Cuisine


23 W 56th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10019

Upon entering this place, it reminded us of Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine — they must be best friends!  It offers somewhat similar choices and has the infamous green sauce.  Also, it seems that it is also a popular lunch spot.  This time we had our special guests of Mary and Andrew (Andy) to join us on our PINCTOR ADVENTURE! YAY.  MENU HERE

Pinky says 3/5


I am on the fence between a two and a three star rating for this one.  I ordered the pork with spanish potato salad and the sweet plantains.  I felt like the pork was really really dry in that it was so hard to chew and my dish was the only one out of four other dishes that were cold.  Perhaps, not many people order the roast pork — BUT still not a good reason to serve close to cold dishes.  The waitress was nice enough to be patient with my party as we took a while to choose what to eat.  Service was fast and had a lot of food on our table in what felt like seconds.

Spanish Potato Salad $2.49
Roast Pork Pernil $9.99 includes 2 sides (pictured with plantains)

Potato salad was interesting as it had a very strong lemon juice flavor…but other than that it tasted regular.
The plantains was really really sweet and reminded me of dessert and I’m the kind of person who doesn’t eat dessert before meals lol.  My taste buds were really confused! I DID order sweet plantains but I didn’t realize it would be that sugary…Tasted more like just regular bananas.
Compared to Sophie’s (yes, I have to mention this!) it was a bit disappointing.  The green sauce was not as good in that it was a lot more watery and less flavored. I didn’t use much of it because of that fact.  The place itself is very similar though.  Decor is simple though it was not as crowded as Sophie’s.


I was a bit disappointed in that we invited Mary and Andy to this place first since we always have home-run restaurants that we go visit haha.  But, you win some you lose some.

Victor says 3/5

Rice with Chicken Arroz Con Pollo ($9.00) includes only one side since rice is already one side
Rice with Chicken Arroz Con Pollo ($9.00) includes only one side since rice is already one side

I may have set my standards a little high because I was comparing this establishment with Sophie’s (we reviewed this earlier in the year). It also looks very similar to Sophie’s too! However, I just don’t think the quality of food is the same.

First off, this place is relatively busy. It appears that they have a lot of the customers and such. It’s good place to grab a quick bite if you’re on the go, though.

The waitress was kind, but didn’t come back to us after we got our food. I ordered tamales and rice with chicken. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the tamales honestly. It’s a corn meal patty stuffed with ground pork garnished with onions. I didn’t find this appetizer very appealing (but that’s just me). It was moist and sorta tasted like corn bread. Didn’t really taste the pork though. It was however, very moist and soft.

The main entrée, the rice with chicken, was pretty average in my opinion. I decided to get the sweet plantains as my side. The chicken was juicy and moist. It looked seasoned, but I couldn’t really taste it. Just your average chicken. The rice was sorta clumpy. The quality of rice is sorta like from a bad Chinese food restaurant. I really loved the  sweet plantains though! Sadly, they gave such a small portion as a side.

What very positive thing about this restaurant is that it serves its food incredibly quick. It’s probably because that they have most of it ready from the take-out section, regardless, you get your food relatively quick. It’s possible that we may have also come on an “off day” and things weren’t exactly their best.

Mary & Andy says 3/5


Mary ordered the Cuban Sandwich ($7.45 which includes Roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mayo and mustard) She also had part of a Cheese patty {cheese empanadas} ($1.65)

I guess I was expecting more “authenticness” but the mustard in my sandwich seemed like regular mustard.

Cheese patty ($1.65)
Cheese patty ($1.65)

It [Empanada] was okay.  I didn’t know that the cheese empanadas was just cheese.  I thought it was beef and cheese…I should have got meat in it. But Andy liked the crust.

Spicy Grilled Chicken includes two sides, pictured with sweet plantains and yellow rice ($9.99)
Spicy Grilled Chicken includes two sides, pictured with sweet plantains and yellow rice ($9.99)

Andy ordered the Spicy Grilled Chicken – Pollo Picante ($9.99 that includes 2 sides)

Chicken was dry.

Andy…a man of few words.


345 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

pretty small area to dine
note this restaurant, although they serve the food to you at your table — you have to clean up yourself!

Not to confuse this place with the MAC BAR (which Pinky did) this place was on a lot of television shows and has gotten a lot of publicity.

Sometimes, it works for the place and sometimes it doesn’t…for this place i would say, it hasn’t worked out too well.  With more publicity, comes higher expectations and harsher judgments.

The plates are pretty pricey {for college kids like us} considering it’s just pasta and cheese and very little of anything else. However, since we weren’t planning on coming back anytime sooner we decided to try the $16 platter that had a little bit of everything.

That place has really no room to do anything.  We were practically sitting on top of each other.  Once you go in there’s already so many tables in front of you.  For a saturday night, this place was bustling!!! Many young adults.  Some were on dates or just casual chilling.  Probably not a good place to stay if you are planning to chat for a while though…Or for any reunion.  You will definitely receive many death glares for your seats!!!  Once you order, you get a number to put on the table you are seated.  When your order is done, no need to get up..they bring it to you! But that’s all the service you’re going to get!  They do NOT clean up after you.  Do not be a party that gets yelled at for not cleaning up after yourselves!  The people working there aren’t particularly friendly but perhaps, it’s all because of how chaotic it is over there.  No one can blame them.

ImageVictor says: 3/5

After I saw this place on the Travel Channel, I had a sudden urge to eat some mac n’ cheese. I mean, if a place is on television, it must be good, right? In the case of S’Mac, it was just alright. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t horrendous. I’ve made my fair share of mac n’ cheese throughout the years, but I have never thought about deviating from the norm. That’s what S’Mac does.

This place is awfully small and awfully cramped at times. Not my liking. The colors of this little restaurant are bright and “fun,” but the attitudes and the atmosphere certainly isn’t (only unless you were one of the few lucky ones that obtained a seat)

We ordered the sampler because I didn’t want to only try one type of mac n’ cheese. It was a hefty $16, but I guess that’s the price of trying multiple things in one sitting. If you are interested in getting the sampler, then expect to wait some time because you can only order the sampler if you are eating in the restaurant.

The sampler consists of a variety of flavors ranging from Cheeseburger to Cajun. Each type has unique blend of ingredients. Some are good, others are bad, and the rest may be in just okay. My favorites were the 4 Cheese, Cheesburger, Napoletana, and the Cajun. 4 Cheese and Cheeseburger are pretty self-explanatory, but they just tasted exceptionally well when mixed into mac n’ cheese. Napoletana was very herby, but it tasted delightful. It had a consistent flow of cheese with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and basil. The Cajun consisted of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, andouille sausage, green peppers, onions, and some celery and garlic. I personally liked it, but I can’t say the same for Pinky.

The other types were okay. I wouldn’t recommend the All-American unless you are big fan of Kraft cheese. It tasted a bit bitter. Parisienne was interesting, but didn’t exactly captivate me. There were figs in and mushrooms in it. It was sweet from the figs and cheesy at the same time, which was a rather strange combination.

All in all, this restaurant is alright. It certainly isn’t something to go crazy for, but its definitely worth a shot. If you are an avid mac n’ cheese enthusiast, go ahead and try your luck here. This could be what your heart desires. Other than that, I don’t think I will be coming here a second time.

Image Pinky says: 3.5/5

I would go to this place once but probably not again.  The place is too cramped to really enjoy the atmosphere.  If I was really depressed and really need of that comfort food, I would make it myself lol. I wouldn’t come out all the way to the city to have some of it.  If you’re like me, I wouldn’t even go outside for ANYTHING if i was actually sad.  My favorites were the Cheeseburger and the Napoletana! The Cheeseburger was extra cheesy and tasted just like what it was called! …how would i describe this? burger pasta?! The Napoletana was very interesting, the basil really overwhelmed the cheese and I never had tomato with my mac and cheese. That was quite a delight! My least favorite was All American, probably because I don’t really like American cheese.  For the Perisienne, the rosemary flavor was a bit too strong for me so it wasn’t one of my favorites either. I had a lot of trouble using the plastic forks for these mini pasta dishes.  If they’re baked in, they should at least offer us metal spoons to scrape off the cheesy goodness.  The sampler is like a special off to the side above the menu.  Keep a look out! I’m glad we didn’t order just one flavor dish.  I would have wanted to try more flavors and probably would have bought more than one dish LOL. that would have been horrible because these are really really really filling.

gooey goodness!
gooey goodness!


and it's gone!
and it’s gone! not really.. haha