Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cuban Pork Dinner - Los Compadres

Taqueria La Guadalupana on Summer Avenue is one of my favorite places to snag some cheap, authentic Mexican food so I decided to drop by while I was driving down Summer on Tuesday afternoon. Apparently I wasn't the only person with the same plan. The place was absolutely packed with a huge line at the cash register and people waiting around the entrance for tables to clear. I thought about heading north to visit one of the Mexican places on Macon but ultimately decided to head over to Los Compadres on Poplar Avenue near the University of Memphis.  

Los Compadres was originally located at Poplar and Union Extended in the former Captian D's building that is now home to EL Toro Loco. The sign on the new location still identifies Los Compadres as a Mexican restaurant but the owners added a Cuban menu when they moved a couple miles down the street. Cuba shares a deep love for slow-cooked pork with the Southern United States so I frequently order off the Cuban menu when I visit Los Compadres.

One of my favorite items on the menu is the puerco asado, which features pork marinated in a mojo criollo sauce and roasted with shallots. It's a simple dish that packs a tremendous amount of flavor. Like the Caribbean pork butt I've braised at home, it isn't barbecue. But it is a deliciously tender and juicy plate full of traditionally cooked pork, which occupies the bottom of my personal food pyramid. 

All the entrees on the Cuban menu at Los Compadres come with a combination of black beans, rice and fried plantains as sides. The seemingly unseasoned black beans are always so bland that I never eat more than a few bites of them. And the white rice just tastes like white rice. Those two sides can't compete with good old baked beans and slaw when it comes to accompanying pork. But the sweet plantains are a delicious treat that I always savor a little at a time while I'm enjoying my meal.

Los Compadres on Urbanspoon

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