Each shopper or co-worker who has returned from a visit to Cuba has complained about how terrible the meals is. I can see that may be true in the event that they stayed in Varadero the place every little thing is geared towards the vacationer. I spent Three nights there – one night time upon arrival and two extra earlier than my departure flight. I discovered the service within the eating places to be surly at finest and the meals to be hardly edible. Simply the other was true in Havana.
Casa Nelsy, the place I stayed, is within the Vedado district of Havana, only one block away from the Havana Libre Lodge. I ate breakfast in that resort each morning. It caters to the massive motorcoach excursions and their meals and repair was precisely as I discovered it in Varadero. Lunch and dinner within the native eating places, nevertheless, had been glorious each day.
Straight throughout the road from the Havana Libre Lodge, on the south west nook of L Avenue & 25th Avenue, is WAOO! Snack Bar & Restaurant. (It’s pronounced WOW and it lives as much as its identify.)
It’s a taking place place with a full-service bar, a superb menu for lunch and dinner, and essentially the most wonderful cappuccino topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon for less than $2.
The restaurant is L-shaped and jogged my memory of a giant espresso store right here at dwelling, besides that the tables are dressed with white linen tablecloths and gold linen napkins. The massive home windows on either side open absolutely to permit the breeze to maintain it cool. There isn’t any unhealthy desk within the place. The employees are nice eye sweet, female and male, and splendidly pleasant. I had both a drink, an appetizer, lunch or dinner there each day, by no means spending greater than $8.00 (CUC 1.00 = USD 1.00). The meals is cooked to perfection and superbly offered. If they’d been open earlier than 11:00 a.m., I might have eaten breakfast there each day. It was my favorite place to only sit and folks watch.
Throughout the road from WAOO! on the south east nook of that intersection is CIBO, an Italian restaurant. A doorman escorted us via a locked entrance that opened into a particularly enticing eating room of black & white checked tablecloths and an Elton John video taking part in quietly from a 32″ TV mounted on the wall within the nook.
My completely grilled white fish got here served on a mattress of rice pilaf topped with a mango chutney and accompanied by al dente grilled greens and yucca root, all for $8.00. And also you could not ask for higher service. They had been as skilled as any effective eating restaurant wherever on this planet.
Just a few doorways west of WAOO! is Monaquito, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant set again from the road. Right here we sat on white plastic patio chairs and ate on white plastic tables lined with vibrant, plastic tablecloths. There isn’t any ambiance right here and the presentation is not nice however the meals is nice and plentiful.
The pork lomo, Four thick slices of smoked pork tenderloin, is fork tender and oh, so tasty! It comes with the normal Cuban brown beans & rice to which they’ve added only a trace of chili seasoning, salad, and scorching, crispy candy potato fries. At solely $6.00 there may be sufficient meals for two folks. I took the additional again to the fridge in my room to have for lunch the subsequent day.
For those who stroll one block south on 25th Avenue, simply after you cross Okay Avenue you come to La Moraleja, enticing open-air eating tucked in behind the buildings on the road. I did not eat there however went in to see the structure and menu. Their one closed in constructing that’s absolutely air conditioned tempted me to cease and luxuriate in a sangria on that scorching afternoon. Right here you’ll discover pleasant employees, skilled service, and menu objects like lamb and rabbit.
On Okay Avenue between 23rd & 25th (solely odd numbered avenues in Vedado), is Meson Sancho Panza, a Spanish restaurant the place I lingered beside a quiet fish pond and loved my favorite meal in Cuba. We dined early at 5;30 p.m. and had the entire restaurant to ourselves. Once we returned one other night time at 7 it was full and we could not get in. Many native residents eat right here.
My fillet of moist white fish reached either side of my 10″ plate and was 3/4″ thick. Typically I discover fish both dry or not cooked sufficient. This one was good. It was drizzled with a lime glaze and served on a mattress of saffron rice that had been drizzled with a mustard sauce. It was accompanied by a facet of greens that had been calmly grilled with a medley of herbs.
Discuss an explosion of pleasant flavours in my mouth! By no means in my life have I eaten one other meal as tantalizing as that! In a effective eating restaurant at dwelling it might have value $18 to $20. In Cuba, it was $8.99!
I wasn’t anticipating to be writing about meals and I do not usually take pictures of my dinner. Now I am sorry I did not assume to take action as a result of all these meals had been as appetizing to have a look at as they had been to eat.
If I may discover eating adventures this attractive inside two blocks both course of my Casa, I am positive there are tons extra all through all of the areas of Havana to thrill any foodie.