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Good Food In Cuba?

I hear people all the time say the food in Cuba is OK, or not very good, yet I go and love most of the food

The chicken is always good

fish, almost always good

the bread is fantastic

beef, (other than hamburgs)terrible, don’t believe the menu, it makes it sound good, it’s not, take a look at what their cows look like.

Does anyone else have favorite foods in Cuba?

I think you have to differentiate which food you’re talking about, Iggy.

Much of the resort food is imported (mostly from the US) which is a totally different situation than what you’ll find in the other 98% of the island…

I don’t eat meat, rarely eat fish. Best meals I have had in Cuba were at Los Galeones in 2007, haven’t been back since, but hope to return. The chefs there actually knew how to do gourmet, and pulled out all the stops to impress me with vegetarian dishes. Also, one convinced me to let him catch and cook me a fish, which was delicious.

Other occasions I have had fish in Cuba it has varied from overcooked and dry, to perfection! I had excellent fish at the a la carte on my visit to Los Corales, despite the rest of their offerings being mediocre.

Some meals in Cuba have been memorable for their quality, others for something quite different, but I have always managed to find enough to eat. If a person can actually stomach fast food in Canada, I can’t imagine them complaining about the fare in Cuba. (but of course they do!) :wink:

I don’t find the food at the AI’s exceptionally good, or bad. I avoid the beef; chicken and pork are usually good, sometimes very good; fish is sometimes excellent, sometimes overcooked; love the ice cream, bread and cheese; the rice and bean dishes are often very tasty, sometimes bland. I’m not normally a dessert eater but really like the AI desserts. I actually like the bacon and freshly made omlets are always good; coffee is usually excellent as is the fresh orange juice if available.

Martian is correct that most resorts use imported food items, so I’ll reply from the perspective of resort food offerings.

I never used to consider us picky eaters until I came to realize that our eating habits fall into perhaps those of 5% of the population here in Canada. We NEVER eat fast foods and pretty much all of my home cooking falls into the gourmet category.Things that many people complain about not being available- fries, hot dogs, burgers, etc. are things we just don’t ever eat so of course we’d never miss them while on vacation. We never expect gourmet cooking at an all-inclusive resort. Given that we all have a different palate and standards, it amazes me that the resort chefs are able to come up with dishes to please such a diversity of guests.

Chicken, pork and fish generally are good but occasionally overcooked. If you ever get the chance to participate in a Cuban pig roast, just go because you’ll enjoy the most delicious pork you’ve ever eaten. We don’t expect to see mountains of prawns, crab or lobster in any resort buffet, so having some is a bonus. The lobster night offered at some resorts is closer to an “animal show” and given that Cuban lobster isn’t great, we often take a pass. We rarely eat beef but I do recall having a fabulous beef goulash and some awesome soups. We always zero in on authentic Cuban dishes and have never been disappointed.

The breads, pastry and dairy products, especially the cheese have been outstanding at pretty much every resort. In the case of the cheeses, it’s probably their higher fat content that make them so tasty.

The weakest link in the buffet - imho of course!- seems to be the salad bar. There’s only so much shredded cabbage and carrots you can stomach for a week although lettuce seems to have become more abundant in the past few years. The tomatoes are to die for, probably because they are picked when they are actually ripe. Ditto for local Cuban fruits.

We have never been sick in Cuba nor have we gone hungry. While smaller resorts can’t and don’t offer the variety that large resort buffets do, we’d rather have less selection of better prepared foods without a lot of leftovers that mysterious morph into new dishes in the following day’s lunch buffet.

One thing we value about Cuba are their organic growing methods. It’s about quality, not quantity!

Found the food at resorts tolerable (even Club Amigo) but CP food was almost always good & sometimes amazing.

Formed a weakness for street pizza during my extended trip, where else can you get a slice for 5-7 CUP, depending on the topping? :sunglasses:

[quote=@catraveler]Found the food at resorts tolerable (even Club Amigo) but CP food was almost always good & sometimes amazing.

Formed a weakness for street pizza during my extended trip, where else can you get a slice for 5-7 CUP, depending on the topping? 8-)[/quote]

where would you find street pizza, never saw any in Havana last year

I love the cheese, and the deserts, the milk/cream not so much,

My all time favourite… Turtle soup in 1991 at Marea del Portillo. The chef didn’t speak any English and when I asked in hand motion what kind of soup it was he pointed upwards towards a mounted wall mount of a turtle. I tried it and it was really good. Not sure to this day if it really was turtle soup but it was really good.

our favourite foods down there are: Cuban rum and Cristal… don’t really go there to eat… ::slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :-*

The first year at El Senador was the best food I ever had in Cuba, Serge Savard (major shareholder) imported the beef from Alberta, romaine lettuce from Canada and the cheese curds from Quebec with St-Hubert type gravy for their poutine. The second year no more cheese curds … the third year no more imports…right back to imported foods from the USA ( thanks Martian for that info).

Playa Pesquero is the best IOHO!!! :o ;D :smiley: the food there is the best that we have had in Cuba…

Flan con Frutas at Tien Tan -Barrio Chino, La Habana

[quote=@iggy1][quote=@catraveler]Found the food at resorts tolerable (even Club Amigo) but CP food was almost always good & sometimes amazing.

Formed a weakness for street pizza during my extended trip, where else can you get a slice for 5-7 CUP, depending on the topping? 8-)[/quote]

where would you find street pizza, never saw any in Havana last year

I love the cheese, and the deserts, the milk/cream not so much, [/quote]

I spent a month at a CP in a non-tourist area of Vedado, there was a lady selling street pizza on the next block, there was a high school nearby & she did a booming lunchtime business.

Have to watch though, had one in Trinidad try to charge me in CUC, barber in Vedado tried the same, they both soon backed off though.

Find street pizza in lots of places where the tourists don’t roam, just have to keep your eyes peeled.

what? ??? ??? ??? ???

restaurant name … something to do with fruit and something else??

what? ??? ??? ??? ???

restaurant name … something to do with fruit and something else??[/quote]

Ald1:-
A flan is a type of cake. It’s delicious btw!
“con” frutas means with fruit.
The restaurant is called Lien Tan and is located in Havana’s Chinatown

Hope that makes sense :slight_smile:

edited by me:-
…and as usual Iriemon beat me to it! ;D Nice to see you Irie!

Best meal I ever ate was at a maid’s house - she had invited a group of us to her house, and we ate in shifts as she only had four chairs and four plates. Lettuce from her garden, white rice and black beans, roast pork, cucumber and tomato slices, and mojo sauce - classic Cuban fare, and made with love. The best meals I find are at people’s homes. But I would add that Paradisus Rio de Oro’s Royal Service Restaurant serves food that is excellent - not what one would expect in Cuba.

Finally, I find most food delicious because I don’t cook it and I don’t clean it up. My favourite part of the buffet is the desserts - rice pudding, flan, bread pudding…drooool. :wink:

Thanks Ire and YVRck for the translation of one of my favourite desserts.

eloisegirl being a dessert lover have you ever had mamey?.. especially in ice cream form.
That I usually have at Union Francesca. It is across from "John Lennon"Park.
Unión Francesa
Calle 17 #671, entre 4 y 6
Vedado

Flan is very close to Crème brûlée.
With some fruit like this, it’s a treat:

[quote=@spunky]Flan is very close to Crème brûlée.
[/quote]

thanks Spunky …yes, now I know what you are talking about… Been eating that stuff since 1991 when we first visited Cuba. I luv it! it finishes off a great meal with a great Cuban coffee. :smiley: :wink:

When we went to Trinidad, our guide did a very good job, when we got back to Cayo Guillermo our guide was well taken care of and as a thank you, he bought a freshly caught fish the next day and had his buddy that worked at the grill in the park (don’t remember the name, it’s a park at the end of the island and a beautiful beach)
to cook it for us, along with vegetables potatoes and dessert. One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, both for the taste and the company. I have a picture of us eating someplace, I’ll look for it and post it.

[quote=@iggy1]When we went to Trinidad, our guide did a very good job, when we got back to Cayo Guillermo our guide was well taken care of and as a thank you, he bought a freshly caught fish the next day and had his buddy that worked at the grill in the park (don’t remember the name, it’s a park at the end of the island and a beautiful beach)
to cook it for us, along with vegetables potatoes and dessert. One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, both for the taste and the company. I have a picture of us eating someplace, I’ll look for it and post it.[/quote]

Playa Pilar is the name of the beach

[quote=@radar]Thanks Ire and YVRck for the translation of one of my favourite desserts.

eloisegirl being a dessert lover have you ever had mamey?.. especially in ice cream form.
That I usually have at Union Francesca. It is across from "John Lennon"Park.
Unión Francesa
Calle 17 #671, entre 4 y 6
Vedado

[/quote]

Radar, thanks for the heads-up regarding Union Francesca.

I’ve walked by there loads of times but have never bothered to step inside.

Cheers.