Victor’s Cafe is fairly close to Times Square, but not quite in the Theater District. It’s located on 52nd St near 7th ave, and it has had a steady stream of patrons over the last couple years. What is interesting about this restaurant is that the menu is fairly straight forward, and most of the visitors are people referred by past patrons, including myself. I’m not a fan of Cuban food in general, but this restaurant’s food was surprisingly pleasant.
The ambiance and decor of this place is pretty interesting. On Sundays, they have live cuban music playing which is pretty nice. They have 2 fairly distinct areas. The front area, for dinner, is fairly dark and dimmed. It has an intimate feel to it, similar to Miami’s intimate latin inspired restaurants. Towards the rear of the restaurant sits an area that allows a lot of natural light in which really makes the room very lively. It reminds me of The Milling Room, where the light makes you feel very comfortable and serene.
The virgin passion fruit drink was pretty good. It had no alcohol of course, but it came with a sugarcane in it. The juice was not too sweet, and tasted decently fresh.
The ceviche de pargo was surprisingly pretty good. I’m normally not a fan of ceviche barring a few places that do it extremely well. This place does it pretty good, especially with the mango on the bottom.
The vaca frita al mojo agrio was surprisingly pretty good. At first glance, it looks like crispy shredded beef. But there is a TON of flavor in it that I cannot articulate. For such a simple appearance, it’s quite deceiving and quite good too.
The lechon asado is simply decadent if you’re into pulled pork that without the BBQ sauce. This pork has a lot of flavor to it. The rice and beans were quite tasty too. They give you a very thick chicharron thing that also tasted good.
The guayabitas de maria was surprisingly really good. The guava jam stuck between 2 crusts was a good sweetness match with that vanilla ice cream on the side.
Added August 31, 2022
The Red Sangria with a Cuban Twist ($14) came with wine, triple sec, brandy, gin, pineapple, guava, oranges, and fresh squeezed orange juice. This was fairly strong and not as smooth as a normal sangria. I did not read the extra ingredients carefully, and my first sip had quite a punch.
The Tostones Con Masitas De Puerco ($14) came with fried plantain topped with morsels of fresh pork. This was good, and it tasted like it sounds.
The Empanadas de Pollo ($12) came with baked savory puff pastry shells, braised all natural chicken, and served with mango-habanero sauce. The empanadas were crispy and savory. The sauce wasn’t spicy at all, and was a pleasant complement.
The Havana Guac ($15) came with avocado, tomato, cilantro, onions, lime, and tropical root chips. This is not the best guacamole I’ve had, but it definitely was decent.
The Pollo Campestre ($28) came with slow roasted chicken in a hearty wine reduction sauce, potatoes, and mini carrots. This also came with a side of rice. The chicken was quite tender, but it had some bones. I wished they had cut the meat off the bone. Everything was fairly tender including some of the tendons. The wine reduction was pretty good, though the dish had one major caveat. It was way too salty. The rice helped a bit, but I was disappointed I couldn’t eat the chicken with wine separately. I am convinced that the pork lechon is the thing to get here.
Not too expensive, and highly recommended if you want to try some Cuban food. I’m usually not much of a Cuban food person because I’ve only had cuban sandwiches. I’m glad that I have been able to try other types of food, and thankfully the restaurant cooked all that stuff pretty damn good too.
The bad. Service is beyond slow. It is snail paced even when tell them in rush. The portion sizes are a joke. 30 dollars for an entree and you get a tablespoon sized portion of meat. Rest of plate is rice. We ordered 3 entrees and all were same in this regard. Attitude of place is poor. Customer generally is wrong.
My waiter was pretty cool. 30 dollars is pretty normal in NYC. This elitist must have been a dick to get treated wrong.
The portion size is RIDICULOUSLY SMALL for its price. All the entrees including the paella (suprisingly) is NOT family size. It depends on what you prefer I guess but we were hungry. Arroz con pollo - Verrryyy salty but not overbearing. Salty does not equal flavor. I don’t think it was worth waiting 45 minutes for it. Service was good. The ambiance was nice and spacious with good music. I made reservations to sit under the roof deck but they were stupid picky about it. I probably won’t return.
Portion size is small for sure, but this idiotic elitist is complaining about rice with chicken. Somehow, they thought a 45 minute wait would be a linear grade on taste. I suppose if it took 2 hours to make paella, then it’d be 2 hours better, right?
We were a little late to our reservations (but not more than 15 min) and they gave away our table to another party
Definitely rate a restaurant down because you didn’t make it on time to your reservation. While we’re at it, let’s rate you down for missing your reservation.
- Aug 31, 2022 - Added Sangria, Tostones, Empanadas de Pollo, Havana Guac, and Pollo Campestre. Updated some text.
- May 5, 2019 - Initial revision.