The traditional Cubano sandwich, with roasted pork, sliced ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on traditional Cuban bread
Geo's serves up traditional Cuban and Creole
If you want a real Cuban sandwich, visit the new Geo’s Cuban and Creole restaurant.
That’s the line that co-owners Kim Gianotti and Geo Rodriguez offer.
“I’m originally from Cuba. I grew up having my parents cooking, all my family. Kids start learning how to cook since they’re tiny,” Geo said. “I’m trying to give a good experience to the people, (I want them) to know what Cuban is.”
In the past, Rodriguez has worked at different places around Seattle, including a food truck he helped open up on Aurora Ave and Serious Pie.
As for the Cuban and Creole pairing, Geo says it makes more sense than people think. There is a Creole presence and influence in Southeast Cuba that many are not aware of.
Besides, he said, he likes Southern food.
“I like the spice. The flavors. It’s incredible,” he said. “I love Southern foods.”
Kim said that Creole and Cuban foods have the same influences from France, Spain and Africa. Just the way the ingredients are used and combined are different. While Creole is spicier, Cuban is heartier. Both leave you wanting more.
Kim and Geo are careful about telling people they’re not offering some kind of Creole/Cuban fusion, but rather are offering both traditional Cuban and traditional Creole foods.
Topping the menu is the Cubano Sandwich ($9) with roasted pork, sliced ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on traditional Cuban bread. The other sandwiches differ slightly: the Pan Con Lechon with roasted pork topped, romaine lettuce, sauteed onions and garlic mayo (Pan Con Lechon, $8); the Pan Con Bistek ($9) with thinly sliced marinated sirloin steak; and the Media Noche ($9), which is just a Cubano with a sweeter bread.
They also serve gumbo, lentil soup, salads and rice and beans. Kim said they are still playing with the menu and plan to expand it more. They have applied for a beer and wine serving license, want to create a breakfast menu for the weekends and maybe even do pig roasts during the summer.
In addition, Geo's has a coffee bar serving Caffe Vita and pastries.
Right now the restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. Coffee and pastries are served all day while the lunch menu starts at 11 a.m.
As for having Paseo’s across the street, Kim says they’re not concerned. She said that besides their sandwiches differing in style, the two places make a good pairing and give variety to the small Seaview Ave strip.
Geo’s Cuban and Creole takes the place of Purple Cow Espresso, the owner of which said it was time for her to move on and do something different. Before the Purple Cow, it was Shilshole Juice & Java Co.
Kim said they were excited to be part of the community.
"We're super excited about it. Before we even opened our doors, we've had a following. It's been such a warm welcome," she said. "It's been a lot of fun. A lot of hard work. A lot of blood, sweat and tears."
Follow Ballard News-Tribune on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ballardnewstrib
And Twitter at http://twitter.com/ballardnewstrib