Jorge Castillo: Can a Cuban restaurant survive in a city where Mexican food is king? Andrés Mera must have asked himself this question many times in the early days of his San Diego restaurant: Andrés.

Glenn Lindgren: It must have been very difficult to get people to try something different – especially with all of the tourists coming to San Diego.

Raúl Musibay: Once you try Cuban food, you're going to love it!

Jorge Castillo: You take one guy from Cuba, his wife from Puerto Rico, add a lot of work and perseverance and you end up with an excellent Cuban restaurant in the heart of "South of the Border" cooking.

Glenn Lindgren: The Cuban sandwiches must have been an easy early sell to the locals. Who could resist a warm crusty Cuban sandwich stuffed with pork, ham, and gooey melted Swiss cheese?

Raúl Musibay: Once people started coming in for the sandwiches, how could they resist the wonderful smell of lechón asado?

Jorge Castillo: The menu is not extensive here and is mostly Cuban. Any Puerto Rican influence must be done in the kitchen. We didn't see any mofongo, arroz con gandules, piononos, or other Puerto Rican favorites on the menu.

Glenn Lindgren: They do have alcapuria, a dish that mingles the flavors of pork and green plantain.

The interior of the restaurant is light and airy.
Raúl Musibay: We first heard about this place from a reader who raved about the empanadas, and they are very good.

Jorge Castillo: Being so close to the ocean, you would expect fresh seafood here. They feature at least two fish of the day presentations, one a sauté with garlic and spices, the other a tomato and Sofrito-based treatment "en salsa roja" – what we would call an enchilado in Miami.

The entry to Andre's looks like a miniature Bohio, the thatch roofed hut that is popular in the Cuban countryside.
Glenn Lindgren: They also make a very tasty palomilla steak and the encebollado, smothered in onions. Both great choices if you love beef as I do.

Jorge Castillo: A nice signature dish is the Pollo al Andres, chicken strips sautéed with green pepper and onions and served in a white sauce with black beans and rice on the side.

If you have a copy of one of our Miami Cuban cookbooks and are looking for ingredients, Andre runs a little market next door that has just about everything you could ask for.

HOURS: Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. | Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. | Sunday Noon to 6:00 p.m.

PRICES: Most entrees priced from $12 to $16.00, cheaper at lunch.

DRESS: Very Casual

BAR: Beer



The Details

Andres Restaurant

Andres Restaurant
1235 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110

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