Over at La Cubanita, Alberto Lombardi's new Cuban "concept" restaurant, they're a bit goo-goo over guava. It seems like any time you ask your server, "Hey what's in this that makes it taste so good?" the answer is "guava." You name it: appetizers, side dishes—even La Cubanita's ribs have guava sauce. But it works, so who's complaining? The guava's sweet, juicy innards work best, in fact, in the pasteles de guayaba y queso, a dessert that should never work but does. The recipe starts with a typical Latin pastry, a sort of semi-sweet turnover, which is filled with cream cheese and guava compote. It's heated, so the cheese hits that nice, almost liquid consistency, and the heat brings out the guava's unique flavor. The turnover is then topped with ice cream, making the whole luscious thing a sort of Cuban version of apple pie, but with a guava-y twist. Try one with a café Cubano—a sweetened espresso they make expertly at La Cubanita—and you'll be happy. Fat, but happy.

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