Special Issues » Bite

Ruben Perez

Zaza New Cuban Diner

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The building, the menu, the decor – it’s all bright red and orange, and the flavors are just as bold at this enclave of casual Cuban comfort food. If you’re lucky on weekend mornings, you’ll score a seat. If not, snag a chair by the front door and wait a couple of minutes. It won’t be long.

“Our customers are our amigos. We have to take care of them first,” says owner Ruben Perez. “Every guest should feel at home. This is the food I grew up with, and now, as a third-generation Cuban restaurateur, I wanted to bring it to the community.”

Not only is the food comforting, it’s homemade, down to the twisty quesito pastries that pair perfectly with a cup of high-octane cafe con leche, made from beans roasted in Longwood. “It’s about putting freshness first. Every cup of coffee is made with beans roasted fewer than five days ago,” says Perez.  Your cuppa is included in one of the best breakfast deals in town: two eggs with bacon, sausage or ham and fresh-baked Cuban toast for less than six bucks.

3500 Curry Ford Road, 407-228-0060; $

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