This busy, sun-lit restaurant feels like a small Cuban café straight out of Miami. But Don Carlin is way out west in Broward, near the Sawgrass Mills Mall. Area workers filter in for filling lunch specials, none more than $8.99, that for rabo encendido, or stewed oxtail. Steak palomilla, thin and cooked on the griddle till it chars nicely, is topped with a mix of cooked Spanish onion and raw diced red onion, bell pepper, and scallion. The lunch menu, offered Monday through Saturday, also lists a dozen platos Cubanos mas tipico such as maso de puerco (garlic-marinated fried pork chunks), ropa vieja (shredded beef with a savory sauce), and a nicely pressed Cuban sandwich; most everything costs around seven bucks. The same bread used to make the Cuban is made hot and crisp on a sandwich press and shows up at each table in a bread basket — that alone is awesome stuff.
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