This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to downtown Salisbury, North Carolina, and to Mambo Grill & Tapas, a restaurant serving Cuban cuisine. Living in Tampa, FL for most of my life, I have had the opportunity to taste and enjoy both Spanish and Cuban food since I was a little guy, and this place ranks right up there with the best.
Dora here. We discovered this place shortly after we moved to North Carolina. It started in a tiny spot in a strip store, moved to a larger space on Fulton Street, and now they’ve expanded into this beautiful two-story historic building in downtown Salisbury. With so many businesses downsizing or disappearing entirely over the last few years, it’s heartening to see a restaurant flourish.
For an appetizer, we ordered Yuca Frita served with a garlic and cilantro dipping sauce. The Yuca, a starchy tubular root, was cubed and fried to perfection. Outstanding! Crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, kind of like a fried potato.
I chose my favorite Cuban dish, Masitas. Large pork chunks flash fried, topped with garlic and onions, and served with yellow rice, black beans, and plantains. This dish was great! The pork so flavorful and tender that you could cut it with a fork and the rice and beans cooked flawlessly, just like I remembered them from Tampa.
Dora here. Y’all, this was such a hard choice! We love, love, LOVE, Cuban cuisine and rarely get a chance to head thirty minutes up the road to Salisbury, so I couldn’t make up my mind between the Piccadillo, Ropa Vieja, and Palomilla Steak. I finally decided on the Piccadillo. Piccadillo is ground beef with tiny chunks of potatoes and bits of olives in a light tomato base. So subtle, if you’re not an olive fan, you might not even know they’re in there. But, oh my, so warm and comforting and exactly as I remembered! YUM! And the veggies? Al dente and screaming with flavor! Where were these when I was growing up? lol. Note to self: MUST make it a priority to come here more often!
What about you? How do you like your veggies? What’s your favorite veggie?
We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.