Casual dining

Downey: Porto’s Cuban platters

We were driving back from Sherman Oaks, heading to Orange County, debating on where to eat dinner.  As I was on the 105 freeway, approaching the 605 freeway, I thought.. Porto’s!  I got off Lakewood Boulevard, and headed toward Firestone and made my way to Porto’s around 8:00 pm. Surely there shouldn’t be a line at this time, right?  The line at 8:00 pm was no shorter than going to Porto’s at 8:00 am on a Saturday.  In fact, it seemed longer because they were closing at 8:30 pm.

The line didn’t take very long, and I made it to the counter around 8:20 pm.  We’ve only been here for lunch and typically we get their sandwiches.  On our last visit, we spied someone with the plate, and decided to get the plate for dinner. We also added one of their famous “potato ball”, described as a soft mashed potato ball filled with seasoned ground beef, fried to golden brown as a starter.

Stephen had the Cuban favorite Ropa Vieja, which means old clothes in Spanish.  In this case, it’s a traditional Cuban style shredded stewed beef with onions, peppers and olives, served with steamed rice, black beans, and maduros (ripened plaintain slices).

Cuban food is known for pork, so I chose the “Lechon”, a slow roasted shredded pork shoulder in Mojo de Ajo and pickled red onions also served with steamed rice, black beans, and maduros.

We didn’t leave until almost 9:00, and the place was empty! We took home a cheese roll, a flaky pastry filled with cream cheese, and left very satisfied. Dinner for 2 was just over $20… cheap eats, and yummy.