‘Watts for Dinner’: Cuban cuisine – I’m bullish on Fernandez the Bull
Our next dining destination is Fernandez the Bull on Pine Ridge Road in Naples (There’s a second location on Piper Boulevard in Naples and a third in Key Largo).
Things got off to an appetizing start with the “Yuca Rellena” ($9.95). It’s three large pieces filled with seasoned beef and pork served with cheese sauce. They look a lot like croquetas, but the taste is quite different.
The yuca is potato-like, but with more flavor. The meat mix works, and the cheese is the icing on the cake. We’re off to a great start.
I also partook of the “Cuban Chili” ($9.95). It’s described as a blend of two “of our favorite things, homemade picadillo, black beans and a touch of our famous hot sauce to create a black bean chili.”
If you’re a chili fan, you won’t be disappointed. And even if you’re not, this rich chili might just win you over. By the way, it comes with a cup of melted cheese. Wow!
My dining companion went with a soup, the “Garbanzos Salteados” ($10.95). The menu describes it as a Cuban style garbanzo bean soup, blended with chorizo and seasoned in a Spanish tomato sauce. This dish won rave reviews. And nary a dropped was left.
For my main entrée, I selected the “Ropa Vieja” ($15.98). Other than vaca frita, this is my favorite Cuban dish. It’s is shredded flank steak cooked in light Spanish tomato sauce with onions and red and green peppers. So good! Total comfort food.
My partner in dine selected the “Masitas de Puerco” ($18.95). It’s pork chunks that have been marinated and slow cooked then fried. Topped with a mojo sauce and sliced onions. This dish is hard core. Huge chunks of marinated meat. Fernandez has one of the best!
For dessert, I had the guava cheesecake ($6.99). This twist on a traditional cheesecake features a blend of guava in the cheesecake and is topped with a thin layer of pureed guava. If you’re a fan of guava and cheesecake, you won’t be disappointed.
My companion had the “Flan de la Casa” ($9.99). This dish is the “Senora Fernandez’ original recipe, unchanged for over 30 years.” What makes this flan really special is the side of grated coconut it’s served with. It’s touches like that that make this restaurant shine.
From the stellar service to the live Cuban music that set the perfect atmosphere, you’d have to travel to Cuba to find anything comparable. Happy eating!
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If you go
Fernandez the Bull Cuban Cafe & Bar
- 3375 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples and 1201 Piper Blvd., Unit 10, Naples; 101429 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
- 239-653-9097 (Pine Ridge), 239-653-9097 (Piper Blvd.)