Julie’s Cuban Cafe, at 202 Dovercourt Road; call (416) 532-7397
Not long after Wallflower, Amanda and I dined at Julie’s Cuban Cafe, a little restaurant hidden away in a residential section of Dovercourt. Ironically, it’s where I suggested Bryn and I dine a few weeks prior (we ended up at This End Up), but she said anywhere but there. That’s not to mention that I attended a nice, but ultimately tainted birthday party there last November.
But at the end of the day, I was rounding out a brutal week of work, and Amanda offered to handle dinner plans. I love it when someone takes initiative since all too often people can just be timid or wishy-washy and plans never get made.
So, the stress melted away, we threw back a few mojitos (which the bubbly, free-spirited server told us featured mint grown in their garden), and enjoyed a halcyon evening. (I should note, however, that the mojitos could have used a bit more oomph mint-wise).
We threw them a curve ball, ordering entirely from the specials menu: a salad of hearts of palm and strawberry, beef empanadas, and tilapia with black beans and rice, and a mango salad. Overall, I think see what Bryn was talking about. The frying was problematic as the oil was clearly old, and the fish dish was really just a meat and sides.
If you’re going to bill yourself as a simple neighborhood restaurant, then you really have to execute at a high level. Julie’s doesn’t do that. It’s fine, but in this area, there are better options.