The Latin Pig is Open in Plano and Here to Serve Your Cuban-Sandwich Needs

Categories: First Look

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If you were to throw together a list of cuisines that are underrepresented in the population of Dallas restaurants, Cuban would have to be near the top of that list. There are a couple joints scattered about, but only to the effect that they leave a tiny fingerprint in a city capable of accommodating much more.

Enter The Latin Pig, a new place up in the brazen wilderness of Plano. Don't look for the name anywhere on the exterior of the double-decker shopping center in which it resides. Instead, look for a temporary banner that says "Cuban Cuisine" strung up on the first floor of the Custer-facing facade on the southwest corner of Parker and Custer. That alone will save you about 20 minutes of inept laps around the retail complex.

Despite its generic outer appearance, the inside is charming. Turquoise vinyl-covered booths and large Cuban-themed artwork emit the vibe of Havana without veering into kitschy. Trendy light fixtures hang over each high-backed booth, lending a coziness to the experience even though you're feet away from the ordering line.

The only real flaw on an initial visit was the lack of air conditioning. So much so, a deep sigh of relief was uttered upon leaving the restaurant and stepping into a comparatively-icy 92 degree Texas evening. Perhaps it was a strange attempt to cultivate a tropical atmosphere, but more likely it was just one of those new-restaurant growing pains.

Upon stepping up to the counter, the folks running the show are more than happy to walk you through the menu of Cuban staples sprinkled with a few native departures. Most of the food is served cafeteria-style, with things such as sandwiches delivered after a few minutes from the kitchen. Some highlights of the menu include the Cuban sandwich, pollo guisado and a wide swath of pupusas. Egg-forward breakfast items greet the early rising crowd, and there of course fruit-filled pastries and croissants to sate any cravings for flakier delicacies.

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Mmmmmmm.....pig
When going to a place called The Latin Pig, it seemed only natural to sample some of the swine dishes. My dining companion and I picked the lechon (pork roasted for 6 hours) with congri (Cuban black bean and rice mixture) and the Cuban sandwich. The lechon and congri ($10.99) were fantastic. The pork retains its sublime juices, while the congri, speckled with bay leaves and roasted peppers, acts as a subtle yet flavorful complement.

The Cuban sandwich ($6.99) does a fine dance on its own as well. Sliced ham and shredded lechon work in tandem with generously-applied cheese and paper-thin pickles. The delicious filling is held together by a buttery, pressed Italian loaf. The bread becomes a bit greasy from the liberal application of brushed butter, but it's still a fantastic foray into Havanese cuisine.

The Latin Pig is located at 3131 Custer Rd Suite 165, Plano, TX 75075. It is open Monday through Sunday from 11:00 AM to 8:00PM.


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5 comments
PlanoFoodie
PlanoFoodie

I have passed by this place several times a week for the past month and kept meaning to stop by.  We finally went there for dinner tonight, and I'm kicking myself for not going sooner!

We ordered several things and shared, including a sampler platter of tender Lechon, savory Picadillo, juicy and falling-off-the-bone Pollo guisado, and flavorful Congri (with bits of roast beast in it - so good!); a fantastic Cubano sandwich (on nicely toasted bread); a delicious and interesting "wet" chicken Tamale with a kind of coleslaw (no mayo here, just spicy, peppery, salty, vinegary awesomeness!); followed by fried sweet plantains called Maduros (the crusty dark bits around the edges are the best) and Pastelitos de guayaba for dessert.

The food was EXCELLENT!  Homey and packed full of flavor - comfort food.  The pastelitos reminded me of pastries my Romanian grandmother used to make, only she used strawberry or apricot jams in hers.  About as far from Cuba as you can get, but reconnecting us with memories, well, what more could you ask for.

I love oxtail and am looking forward to trying the rabo encendido. The restaurant is owned by a couple, and the wife's mother, who is the main chef, is Salvadoran, so they have some Salvadoran dishes on the menu as well (apparently the coleslaw served with the tamale is a Salvadoran condiment), and I can't wait to try the papusas!

The only drawback is that the place is tiny, with just 4 or 5 small high-backed booths.  They do offer to-go, though!

The decor is supposed to evoke 1950s Havana. I've never been, so can't say if they succeeded there, but the light fixtures over the tables are pretty cool.  However, honestly, I don't care about the decor and they should thrive based on the food alone! While we were there, they had a few people come in to get orders to go, and I can definitely see myself making this a regular stop to pick up dinner on the way home from work.

Also on the plus side, the owners were incredibly warm and welcoming, and made us feel like family, and that will go a long way towards attracting and keeping customers. They've only been open a couple months, and are short on oven space, but Ana said they hope to have that remedied soon so they can keep the bakery case better stocked because, on the weekend especially, their pastries fly out the door as soon as they're made, so you have to get them while you can.  After tasting them, I can understand why!

Plano is lucky to have this place.

Nictacular
Nictacular

Dammit...now I want to go to Plano.

juanisaav
juanisaav

I went with my family last week, it was excellent. The owners are very nice and attentive and they do know how to cook their pork Cuban style!

xuco1
xuco1

If real Cuban bread is used for the Cuban sandwich it should be good.

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