Quick Bites: Cuban Cuisine Comes To Clermont

If you’re looking for delicious Miami-style Cuban food, then you’ve got to try Troy’s Cuban Deli. Tucked away in the Oakley Plaza just off of SR 50, this little restaurant in Clermont is the place for pressed Cuban sandwiches and more.

Owner Troy Heistand, who attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and also lived in Miami, was tired of big cities and made the move to Central Florida. After working as a line cook and for restaurant food service companies, he decided to open his own place to spend more time with his family.

Troy’s Cuban Deli is open six days a week and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The most popular dish is the $5.99 combo from the hot station, featuring a daily meat or fish entrée and two side items, including beans, sweet plantains, yucca, and rice.

His chef, Joey Diaz, an exceptional find on Craigslist, is a blessing to the Heistand family. You’ll know why when you taste his picadillo (ground turkey in tomato sauce with olives, capers, caramelized onions, peppers, and garlic) and Guava Bread Pudding. His Cuban sandwiches are filled with house-made roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, and served with fried plantain chips, also made in-house.

If empanadas, Cuban toast, Ropa Vieja, Boliche, Bistec Empanizado, and Papa Rellena tempt your palate, then you don’t want to miss Troy’s Cuban Deli. See their colorful website at troyscubandeli.com or call (352) 241-4295.

Just around the corner, in the same plaza where Bread ‘n’ Buns used to be, is Let’s Go Dutch. It’s a café up front, and out back, after a walk through the outdoor courtyard, you’ll find a bar decorated as a wine cellar. The décor includes wine barrels, brick walls, a high-backed booth almost the length of the restaurant, marble tables, and slate floors. The theme for both is Dutch Indies as evidenced by the wall coverings, including a 1714 European map.

“We’re the only one of its kind here in Clermont,” says owner Dutch Holt. “If you’re looking for a nice atmosphere and good entertainment, this is the place.”

On the day I visited, lunch patrons enjoyed burgers that looked thick, juicy, and hand-patted. The French Onion soup is quite thick and is made with beef consommé rather than the usual beef bouillon. An eye catching display of Kim Holt’s (Dutch’s wife) fondant cakes are enough to tempt even the most determined dieter.

When asked what he recommends, Holts said it’s tough to choose, but the pinwheels are a favorite. Made of spirals of pasta stuffed with prosciutto ham, ricotta cheese, and spinach, the pasta is then baked in a Gorgonzola cream.

“And our crab cakes are almost all crab and hardly any filler,” Holt adds.

You can see the menu at letsgodutchcafe.com. Friday and Saturday evenings feature live jazz, and the couple even hosts wine tastings.

“We have some California wines but our list includes imports from Argentina, Chili, Spain, Italy, and South Africa.” Call Dutch at (352) 243-7700 to find out more.

Nibbles: Frank DiPietro, a CPA dining at Troy’s, told me about opentable.com. He was able to find a last minute table on Valentine’s Day through the site, saving his love life! Book reservations or look for seating within minutes of arriving. Don’t forget the Pig on the Pond fundraiser in Clermont on March 12 and 13. Proceeds raise money for education and scholarships. Troy’s Cuban Deli will be there among many others. Visit pigonthepond.org for details. One last nibble: Clermont’s Golden Corral is in its final days of construction and should be opening this month. More next issue.

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