A Taste of Cuban Cooking

Walk through the door at Mary’s Cuban Kitchen and you’re enveloped in the mouthwatering aromas of authentic Cuban cuisine. Come by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and you’ll soon see why patrons have made this a favorite stop.

Named for chef and co-owner Mary Rojas, Mary’s Cuban Kitchen features home-cooked Cuban meals made from scratch. Reasonably priced and open six days a week, the family-owned and -operated business celebrates its first anniversary in Ocala this month.

Breakfast sandwiches are a big hit with people on their way to work, and the drive-through makes stopping by super convenient. Among popular morning choices are the loaded fried egg sandwich and the “Bistec a Caballo,” steak topped with two sunnyside up eggs and red sauce. Omelets and other breakfast plates are also available. Coffee lovers like starting the day with Café con Leche or Espresso.

Cuban pastries with fillings such as guava, cheese and coconut are popular, but churros are one of the most requested sweets. “These fried pastries are sprinkled with sugar and perfect with hot chocolate when it’s cold outside,” says Tom Rojas, who owns the eatery with wife Mary.

Rich and creamy, the milkshakes are made with ice cream and fresh fruit. Try the mango, strawberry or papaya shakes for a delicious difference from the standard chocolate or vanilla. Homemade lemonade and fresh-squeezed orange juice are also on the menu.

When it comes to lunch and dinner, several items are customer favorites, including the best-selling roasted pork with black beans, rice and sweet plantains. Arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) is always a hit as are the empanadas (savory fried pastries filled with beef or chicken). Patrons have made the Boliche (round roast stuffed with chorizo sausage simmered in a tomato sauce base) a best-seller as well.

You’ll find sandwich specials Monday through Friday, and look for the Loyalty Rewards card to come in January where regular customers will benefit from coupons and specials. Also coming in 2011 are new seasonal menus, highlighting dishes that change with the season, in addition to the regular menu.

Now’s the time to order Thanksgiving and Christmas meal packages if you plan to have Cuban dishes for the holidays. Mary also offers catering and will make cakes for special occasions, so call with your requests.

Mary’s Cuban Kitchen is located in the former Juicy Lucy’s site, just behind the Kangaroo gas station/convenience market at the corner of Highway 40 and Airport Road (SW 60th Avenue).

Mary’s Cuban Kitchen
101 SW 60th Ave., Ocala
(352) 369-MARY (6279)

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