Since 1948 no less. Been here a few times now and decided to grab a meal to go for the family. Called the wife and orally recited the menu above the counters. She chose, of all things, Chicken Parm....with black beans. I ordered an Italian (medium out of three sizes), two empanadas and a stuffed potato to give us some nice variety.
This place draws from all walks of life and all socio-economic groups. There are construction workers, execs, medical folks in their scrubs, families and you name it in the place when I sit down to wait on my order.
The gentleman at the register looks as if he has been there for years and years and it is fun to watch the whole place working to fill the orders. Kinda reminds me of Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory of Cuban food. Everyone has their place and their job to do and it flows nicely in a quirky kind of rhythm. He saves me a few bucks by putting some of my ala carte orders in combos and it gets me chips and drinks as well. Nice touch.
The food takes a while and I watch intently, getting hungry now, as the orders for others are filled. A couple of larger catering orders head out the door too while I wait. Once I get the food, I am able to carry it all out in a box and two bags to the car for the 20 mile drive home at rush hour.
Of course the drive home seems as if it takes a day or two because I am hungry and the food smells fill the car and my nostrils. I do eat a piece of buttered Cuban Bread that goes with the Chicken Parm dish.
Once home and I spread it all out it is a HUGE spread and I sense I did over order just a bit. But hey, we WILL eat it. Funny but one of the best things about the meal was the yellow rice with peas and black beans spooned over it with fresh onions. The Chicken Parm is also a big serving and is fresh pounded chicken breast and not the fake pressed stuff many places serve. The empanadas and stuffed potato are very flavorful as well. The potato is huge and has ground meat stuffing in it.
By the way, this trip I did not buy a Deviled Crab but it too is a famous fixture here at Brocato's. And no less food than the stuffed potato.
Right now I am STILL full from the meal about 3 hours ago and look forward to visiting again soon. Brocato's has personality, tradition and good food waiting for those who find it.