Subway: Brown to Irving Park(773) 528-2883 cafe28.org41.954489 -87.673317 1800 W Irving Park Rd (at Ravenswood Ave) North Center, Chicago
Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Wed, Thu, Fri), dinner (closed Mon)Average main course: $16
Cuban food goes upscale at this pleasant spot. Standards go glam with touches like saffron cream and garlic polenta, and it’s all executed with competence, albeit with a little less oomph than the menu descriptions suggest. Pork chops arrive tender with plenty of honey flavor, although with only a trace of the advertised jalapeño. The ropa vieja, flanked by sugary plantains, is juicy and fork-tender, but you can’t help feeling as if you could order it at your local Cuban dive for half the price. With the eclectic crowd and excellent mojitos, however, those shortcomings are quickly forgotten.