Among the many ethnic cuisines found in Dallas-Fort Worth, one that comes short is Cuban. Enter The Latin Pig, a family-operated fast-casual restaurant opening next week on Custer Road in Plano, serving all your Cuban basics: black beans and rice, Cubano sandwiches, and guava-filled pastries.
Owners are John Guerraro and his wife, Ana Castillo, who moved here from New York and missed the Cuban food they'd grown up with. "Dallas has maybe three Cuban restaurants in the area, but I'm very particular," Guerraro says.
Sandwiches include the classic Cubano and a "Cuban Reuben" that reflects the owners' New Yorker roots, with chicken, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on pumpernickel bread.
The signature dish is lechon, Cuban-style roast pork with rice and black beans. There is also picadillo, or ground beef with vegetables, and pollo guisado, stewed chicken with potatoes and carrots in tomato sauce.
Sandwiches include the classic Cubano and a "Cuban Reuben" that reflects their New Yorker roots, with chicken, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on pumpernickel bread. Side dishes include fried plantains and yuca with garlic and onions.
"Yuca is something people don’t see much around here," Guerraro says. "It can be steamed or fried. You have your steak fries, but these are bigger, more rustic."
The other surprise on the menu is Salvadoran food, including pupusas, the traditional Salvadoran dish that's like an extra-thick tortilla stuffed with fillings.
"My wife is half Salvadoran and half Cuban," Gerraro says. "Her mother is Salvadoran, and she's our chef. I have tried two dozen places where they make pupusas, and these are absolutely the best. We have them with pork and with black beans, but the one I like has zucchini and cheese."
Another thing they're doing is breakfast, with three unique cuisines. The Cuban breakfast has eggs with plantain and sausage. The Dominican has eggs with mashed plantains and ham. The Salvadoran has eggs with black beans and plantains.
There are baked goods, including black-and-white cookies and pastelitos de guayaba, or puff pastry filled with guava. And, last but not least, coffee. Gerraro's restaurant background includes a stint at Starbucks.
"There are two Starbucks across the street from us, but we'll be doing something they don't: Cuban-style coffee," he says.