Cuban Pete's

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My friends and I met up at Cuban Pete's in Montclair, NJ for a belated celebration of my birthday. I loved the festive atmosphere, loud Latin music blasting, everyone enjoying the summer heat on a lazy Sunday evening. There were many birthday celebrations! The house band came out about three times to wish patrons Feliz Cumpleaรฑos while beating drums and shaking maracas. 

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On to the food. I ordered the Churrasco El Gaucho (it comes with white rice and beans and maduros) and it was delicious. I don't normally like soft, oily plantains but these were pretty well done despite those features. The steak was well-spiced, and perfectly done. As you can tell, I really enjoyed the food. What I did not like was the presentation. It seemed like the food was just stabbed on the plate. I am not sure if that is normal for this establishment - maybe they want to give it an authentic feel (or something) - or if it was because it was especially busy, and so no time for the details. But I like the details, so that was a bit surprising and a turnoff for one of my friends.

it is a BYOB establishment. We didn't know that. They don't have any alcoholic drink on the menu. Well, I guess the sangrias and mojitos count, but they only had .5% (yup, you read that right!) alcohol. So we pretty much drank juice all evening as we didn't have wine to complement the white sangria we got.

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Will I go back? Yes. I want to go back (with bottle in hand) to enjoy the full experience. I love Cuban food and I want to try out the pork dishes! If you have been here, what did you think?