July 15, 2012

Cienfuegos, Cuba. February, 2012

Meals in Cuba. I had been warned not to expect much in terms of variety and quality, so my expectations were set low. But I needn’t have worried. The food was just right. Because we traveled in a group to most meals, the service was buffet or family-style platters. Always a mojito was proffered. Rice and beans, salads (which my friend Lisa labeled Soviet because of the ever present shredded cabbage,) plantains, yuca, fruit. And usually roast pork, baked chicken, ground beef with spices. On the occasions where we got to choose our own entrees, as here at a waterside outdoor paladar in southern Cuba (which, by popular demand, we visited twice), there was usually fish, shrimp and lobster, too. Dessert was often ice cream, sometimes gussied up. (My favorite: Copa Lolita -- a scoop of vanilla ice cream AND a slice of flan, laced with chocolate sauce.) Only in the fancier places in Havana was the service individual and more self-consciously “presented.” No matter where we ate, I was never disappointed.

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