Review: Habana Cuba RestaurantA little taste of Cuban Cuisine in San Jo
If you live in San Jose or Santa Clara, chances are you’ve past this place tons of time since it’s right off of the Alameda.
My cousin, sister and I decided to pick a fun downtown restaurant one afternoon for lunch. I had no idea what to expect, let alone if I even liked Cuban food. As we walked in, the vibrant colors on the walls, artwork, and numerous sports paraphernalia caught my eye; when we sat down, I noticed the numerous Wave Magazine awards hung high on the wall.
Taking a look at the menu, I was quite overwhelmed – fish? meat? veggies? bananas? Yes…bananas or as they say plantains (you can get them in chip form or sweet form). I was pretty overwhelmed and really had no idea what to order - so being the brilliant foodie I am, I asked our waiter what I should get. He suggested the Lechon a la Cubana……
I had no idea what lechon is…now, after turning to my trusted Wikipedia apparently, I was eating “suckling pig.” I know, those Wiki authors are so eloquent with their descriptions. But let me tell you, this little piggy (me) was happy all the way home.
The lechon was marinated in amazing Cuban spices and was slow roasted so that it was tender and you literally didn’t need to use a knife to cut through the meat. It was served with a side beans and rice. When mixing all three of these together it reminded me of a way better crock pot stew, but like I said, way better – it doesn’t even compare.
After inhaling my food and enduring peer pressure from my cousin, we decided to order the Aguacate Camarones. It was: avocado stuffed with bay shrimp served with banana chips = amazing. The presentation was delightful as the chef kept the avocado whole (with its skin) and generously topped each avocado half with the baby bay shrimp.
But, what surprised me the most was the banana chips. Who knew a dehydrated banana that was lightly salted could be so good? They were addicting, and we finished them all. I was so into these chips that the very next day I went to the supermarket and bought myself some dried bananas to munch on at work.
Overall, Habana Cuba was muy bien. And, I’ll definitely be making many more trips soon. I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5 mostly because the bean were a little to sweet for my liking. But, then again, who cares about the damn frijoles anyways?
Name: Habana Cuba Restaurant
Address: 238 Race Street, San Jose, CA 95126
Pricing: On average $10 bucks for lunch and around $20 bucks for dinner. Cocktails are $6 and beers are under $5 bucks.
Byte Rating: 4.5 out of 5