416 Centre St, Jamaica Plain; (617) 524-6464
At El Oriental, a small comer place with simple tables down one side and a long counter and grill down the other, you’ll be gloriously reminded that a sandwich can be far more than a bite on the run.
The Cuban special consists of pork, ham, and cheese, grilled on a sub roll with all the veggie fixings and a zesty sauce. This is the authentic Havana style, and four bucks is a small price to pay. Side orders, like rice, beans, or mofongo a delicacy of mashed green plantains with pork rinds and garlic sauce are $1.50 each.
Variety plates, featuring crispy chicken, pork chops, and steak, run $7-$9 and are served with rice, beans, and plantains or fries. The day’s special of chicken and oxtail over rice was $7.35 on Mine’s visit.
Soups, including chicken, beef tripe, and a hearty Cuban vegetable, are meals in themselves and priced accordingly, at $3-$5 for sizable smalls and $1 more for lavish larges. Order breakfast until 11 a m. like a platter of eggs with Spanish chorizo sausage and French (?) bread for $3.50. Open from 8 a.m. to 10 P.M. seven days a week.