Ever since moving to New York, I’ve developed this insatiable desire for great Mexican food. However, great Mexican food and New York City are far from synonymous and actually non-existent (no matter what individuals may claim). So I guess I have to opt for the next best thing, some Cuban food. But it turns out, Cuban food is abso-fucking-lutely delicious. Make sure you get here early before Brunch/Lunch rushes because it definitely gets packed. But once you’re able to grab a seat, you feel as though you’re instantly transported to Havana with their well decorated ambiance. Let’s just start right off the bat with one of Cafe Habana’s most popular dishes, their Grilled Corn Mexican Style. The corn is grilled, buttered and then topped with chili powder and cheese. The addition of a squirt of lime will help you complete what will most likely be the best corn you’ve had in your entire life. A warm bowl of delicious, spicy chorizo is a perfect complement to any meal.On a fatty note: It’s 3:30AM at the moment, and this picture is making my tummy roar. The Cuban Sandwich is stuffed with delicately roasted pork, flavorful ham, with warm melted Swiss cheese, with pickles thrown in for an extra snap. I might have to run out tomorrow to pick one up. Actually, I might just run out to Cuba and become the anti-Elian Gonzalez. You know the dish is authentic when you probably can’t even pronounce it. The Chilaquiles Verdes con Pollo is just that. Corn tortilla and shredded chicken casserole cooked in a green tomatillo salsa and topped with crema and cotija cheese. Although it looks like a plate of mush, it’s a delicious plate of mush. Introducing the Sloppy Pepe, an open faced “Hangover Sandwich” that is topped with BBQ pulled pork hash and 2 eggs with habanero pickled onions. To be honest, even though the sandwich was marvelous, save yourself some time and money and go with the Cuban Sandwich. I didn’t touch the salad, because it just looked unappetizing.
Cafe Habana Scores:
Food: 8/10 – I may have found a great substitute for classic Mexican food.
Restaurant Environment: 7.5/10 – Getting a short trip to Cuba, without having to step onto a boat and without having to worry about any military forces is a definite plus. However, the restaurant is on the petite size. Ask Marshall Eriksen, he’ll tell you all about being too big for New York.
Service: 7.5/10 – Pretty average, but it is amazing how they can keep track of all the people waiting. However, a couple of mishaps led me to call the hostess a bitch, which I think she heard.
Value: 7.5/10 – Finding a NY restaurant with consistent items under $10 is splendid, but compared to Mexican food, I might be breaking the bank.