Sep 1 2007
07:56 pm
By: Bbeanster

This little Cuban restaurant is in Fountain City (which doesn't have its own designation here, btw), and it serves up some of the very best food I've had in a long time -- at very reasonable prices.

Reminds me of the food my Puerto Rican grandmother used to make, except for the sandwiches, which are wonderful. Best sandwich bread ever -- thin, crisp crust, tender inside texture. Lots of rice and beans (so far, I've only had black beans and rice, which was extra-good). The desserts are sinful, and unlike anything you'll get anywhere else in town.

Last time I was there, the place was full of Spanish speakers, who looked Cuban to me. I took that as a good sign.

This is a really fine casual dining restaurant; family-owned, good, friendly service, clean as a whistle. It's located just S/W of the Smithwood corner, down toward Broadway, across from Leo's Cafe.

R. Neal's picture

Fountain City (which doesn't

Fountain City (which doesn't have its own designation here, btw)

If you mean in the "community" category, sure it does. Check again.

(You should post your review here so it will show up here.)

michael kaplan's picture

taste of havana

"It's located just S/W of the Smithwood corner, down toward Broadway, across from Leo's Cafe."

Is this the Cuban restaurant that used to be in Homberg Place?

Leo's Cafe BTW is a place to avoid. The food tastes like it's out of plastic pouches.

Pickens's picture

No, the Cuban place in

No, the Cuban place in Homberg was "Alex's Havana Cafe."

Carole Borges's picture

The Homberg Place one was pretty blah

They also seemed to open and close on a whim. Sometimes there would be people outside wondering why it was closed when it should be open. Not a very good way to run a business. The Cuban sandwiches were only so-so.

Hoseman19's picture

What hours are they open?

What hours are they open?

Joey's picture

Delicious Cuban Food

This the cuban restaurant that used to be in Lovell Heights. The food is excellent.

danneauxs's picture

Nice little place

We live in Tazewell so even though we knew of this place it took months before we finally decided to make the 45 minute trip just for food. Having lived in Tampa, FL. I had experienced Cuban food and decided I missed it. This was a good thing because it convinced me to make the drive this past Friday. Fortunately I say because it was worth the drive.
The food was good, portions were decent but not large but then again I am a big eater.
The wife was pleased with her first experience with Cuban food and decided the roast pork was the best she had ever had. It was good.
the food is good, the desserts are OK; except for the cheesecake which was remarkably good. The atmosphere and food smack of home cooking ( not being Cuban it's my impression anyway) and it's a friendly place without the impersonality you get from a franchise.
Service was friendly but not quick. Drinks were slow to arrive after ordering and the toasted Cuban bread really should arrive right after ordering. It helps to keep the wait time for food seem shorter when you are HUNGRY.
We went back today and took my parents and grandmother to introduce them to the place. They all enjoyed their meals very much. We sampled about five desserts and the cafe con leche ( bit too sweet ) and we agree we've had better but some didn't seem as fresh as they could have been which might have contributed to this.
We would have liked to sample some Malta but they were out of this and a few other items we were interested in. It happens but it is disappointing for new customers and a revenue loss for the business. Appetizers would be a nice addition to the menu. They increase the earnings for the restaurant and server. Simple quickly prepared items would be best and the price could be kept low to encourage ordering and experimentation.

One thing I was disappointed in was the menu. Not the items but the layout of the menu. In 2008 there is no excuse for a poor menu. When you introduce people to unfamiliar food items excellent descriptions are NOT out of line. There should be no item on the menu that people should be unsure about. Today, my family kept asking me "what is this?" and even though 15 years ago I might have had it I don't remember what it is today. That information should have been on the menu along with pictures of the food. There's a reason people turn on food tv and not food radio. Visual is always more appealing than verbal. A couple of hours on a computer and a customer could be presented with an informative menu that temps them into ordering unfamiliar items with descriptions of new and exotic tastes and appealing photos of delicious looking dishes.

In a nutshell - don't skip this experience.


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