Sunday, August 22, 2010

Havana Bistro Cafe

Driving around looking for a place to eat, we could smell the aroma coming from this little Cuban Bistro and it reminded me of the food I had growing up. We went to check it out not knowing if we wanted to eat there yet and once we saw the selections it was a no brainer. The Bistro had authentic Cuban food as well as a glass display with the desserts they offered. Having a sweet tooth that pretty much sealed the deal.

The menu was easy to ready and understand. The choices were either to get a combo for $7.25 which was all day or just an entree. I went for the combo since it contained a lot of choices, which included picking one protein such as the beef with potatoes (carne con papas), spicy chicken, shredded beef (ropa vieja), and pork cooked in three different ways. Second a choice of rice which included cuban rice which is white rice cooked with black beans, yellow rice and regualr white rice. Third choice was the sides which included but were not limited to beans, corn, yuca, and tamales. I have to say it was a lot of food but living in these times you have to think ahead, I knew I would be getting the rest to go for lunch the next day.

Once seated with the food I went for my drink, they had regular coke fountain drinks, iced teas and for an extra charge, natural juice drinks such as mango and passion fruit. I went for the iced tea, I wanted the green tea but the machine was not working properly and came out as plain water so I settled for the raspberry iced tea. The building was small but looked like it could hold about 35 people.

Open for only one year, the bistro was not busy for a saturday afternoon and we had the place pretty much to ourselves as we ate. After taking the first bite, I knew I wanted to come back again, the beef was incredibly flavored and so tender it pretty much melted in my mouth, the cuban rice was authentic and the yuca was not bland at all. My fiancee had the cuban sandwich with yellow rice as a side. The sandwich tasted like an authentic cuban sandwich.

Once we ate to the point of explosion, we got the rest to go. Since the whole reason I wanted to eat there was for the dessert, we got a cheesecake and flan, a custard dessert with caramel sauce, to go. The flan tasted like flan but the texture was a bit more dense than I'm used to, it tasted great though.

I give the Havana Bistro Cafe a 4/5 chef hats for a great dining experience and great food. The price was reasonable for the amount of food I got, but the experience felt like I was eating at a fast food restaurant, I would have liked to see more things inside and maybe cuban music playing in the background. I would defiantly suggest eating at the Havana Bistro Cafe if you are looking for authentic cuban food, but for a Saturday night when you want to go out and have fun, I'm not sure this place would be too entertaining.

Location: 7975 S, Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32809
Phone: (407) 420-7285