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Las Colinas in Wilton Manors Serves Up Lunch-Counter Cuban

There have been plenty of attempts to fancy up Cuban cuisine. There's the overrated Versailles, and the Cabana restaurants in West Palm and Delray do a good Cuban-Caribbean fusion.

But the truth is, a fine ropa vieja can be found at lunch-counter Cuban joints, like Las Colinas, a Wilton Manors restaurant that does a brisk lunch business out of its takeout window.

You won't get Versailles-style circumstance here -- just simple Cuban dishes served on plastic plates. The glass tabletops hide the huge

menus underneath, and the lunch counter faces the tiny, open kitchen.

Here,

the ropa vieja ($6.95) comes with a thin and somewhat oily gravy, but

the flavor shows it has been simmered long till tender. The chicken

salteado ($8.95) is lightly seasoned, mostly with just salt and the

well-cooked peppers and onions covering it. The maduros are sautéed

until the edges of the sweet plantains become carmelized and crisp.

Las

Colinas does a brisk business for its pressed sandwiches, which include

a half-dozen varieties of Cubans. But it's probably best-known for the

breakfasts (it won Best Cheap Breakfast from New Times

in 2004), which scans the gamut of the Americas, from huevos rancheros

to eggs with chorizo. With a coffee on the side, the breakfast still

rings up at $5 or less -- the kind of prices we should expect for good

Cuban food.

Las Colinas
2724 N. Andrews Ave., Wilton Manors
954-390-7410

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