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Mama's Latin Cafe

Sometimes you can't get to Havana -- or even Miami. Sometimes, this five-table, splinter of a café at the western end of Fort Lauderdaleâ??s Southland Shopping Center is as far as you make it for a Cuban sandwich fix so satisfying you'll wonder why Mama isn't front-page news. Oh, there are lots of breakfast items, soups, croquettes, and the usual Cuban-y things on the menu. Pull up your barstool to the blue plastic malachite countertop. The low-overhead prices are much more in line with those of Havana than South Beach (where a Cuban sandwich can run $9). Although you hear mostly Spanish among the customers, gringos are welcomed by the capable staff. Mira. That means you. Mama's packs 'em in at lunchtime, so drop by nearby Big Lots until the rush dies down. Either way, you're on to one of the real bargains in town.

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