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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Havana Room Review

We left here as soon as we could, which took a while since service was as slow as a turtle crossing railroad tracks with an oncoming train.

Our table of 4 began our meal with the empanada de queso y maiz, choriqueso con maduros, and chicharrones de pollo y platano. Or, that's what we asked for anyway.  After waiting ~15-20 minutes - quite a long time given it was early evening and the restaurant was far from being packed - for the appetizers to come out, one of the waiters explained that one of our dishes was a "beef empanada." To this, we responded that we didn't order a beef empanda, and in fact had ordered a cheese empanada. The waiter retorted that they did not sell a "cheese empanada," but given that "empanada de queso y maiz " means "cheese and corn," we begged to differ. We spoke to our original waitress about this, and she happily replaced our dish.

Onto the food itself - the choriqueso con maduros was by far the most favorable dish of the night - with rich, melted manchego covering Spanish chorizo.  One change we would make to the dish would be to serve it with fried plantain chips to given it more texture, rather than ripen, warmed plantains that made the whole dish too "mushy." The chicharrones de pollo y platano were so-so - the banana salsa was good, but the chicken was dry and the breading lacked flavor.  The empanada - the correct one - would have been good had there been enough filling proportional to the amount of dough.

Next, entrees! One of us had ordered the "fresh catch of the day" - I put this in quotes because I hypothesize it's actually the "frozen catch of the day."  We arrived ~7PM, so it was still quite early for restaurant operations. But, 2 minutes after taking our orders, our waitress came back telling us that they had ran out of the "fresh catch of the day."  Given the early hours and very few customers, my conclusion was that either they had very very very few fresh catches to begin with, or they ran out of frozen fish to masquerade as fresh fish.

After another 20 minutes and a sincere apology form our waitress (who was very nice throughout our time there), our entrees arrived. I had ordered the salmon con fufu y almendra, which, if it had arrived hot on the plate, I would have given the restaurant an additional star.  Instead, it was lukewarm and disappointing. 

We skipped out on dessert.


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