I was on my way home the day after the Calle Ocho Festival in Miami when it hit me that I spent a day enjoying all things Cuban but did not eat one empanada. It was just before noon, my rum hangover was subsiding and hunger was growing. Knowing the one place that could right my wrongs, I pulled off I-95 in West Palm Beach and headed towards Havana. Havana is a well-known Cuban restaurant owned and operated by Cuban immigrant Roberto Reyes and his family since 1993. Mr. Reyes emigrated from Cuba in 1960, making his way to Puerto Rico then Miami. Following Hurricane Andrew Mr. Reyes moved his family north to Palm Beach County. Missing from the area was the 24-hour walk-up Cuban stands he had grown accustomed to in Miami. Taking things into his own hands, he opened his own on the corner of Forest Hill Blvd and South Dixie Hwy. 17 years later Havana is still the only 24-hour walk-up Cuban Restaurant in the area and features a dining room that is open 7 days a week.
WHAT I ATE:
Beef Empanadas ($1.80) – A Cuban classic perfected, the crust was golden and crispy. The meat was full of flavor, left me wanting more…so I got another one.
Bistec con Pan ($6.35) – Thinly sliced top sirloin steak, seasoned and grilled with sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato and potato sticks on Cuban bread. This was a good size sandwich with great flavor on fresh tasting bread. Enjoyed mine with American cheese for $0.99 extra.
HAVE MY EYE ON:
Sabor Cubano ($10.79) – Cornmeal, laced with seasoned pork, wrapped in a corn husk with fried pork and chicken chunks, topped with sautéed onions
Boliche Mechado ($14.59) – Sliced eye round of beef stuffed with Spanish sausage in a Spanish Sauce ($7.89 Lunch on special menu)
Bistec de Pollo a la Milanesa ($14.59) – Seasoned, boneless breast of chicken, breaded and deep fried, topped with Spanish sauce, ham and melted mozzarella cheese
Tostones con Mojo ($3.49) – Green plantains with mojo
Sandwich Cubano ($5.75) – Ham, pork, cheese, steamed and grilled to perfection on Cuban bread.
Café Cubano ($1.89) – Cuban coffee brewed by forcing waster under pressure though finely ground coffee in an expresso machine
Before stopping in I had heard nothing but good things about Havana and their slogan is “the best Cuban in town”. In my opinion, there is one place in the area with better Cuban food, Cabana but Cabana has a much higher price range. For the quality of food and price, this place can’t be beat. Of course eating great Cuban food outside in the Florida sun is an added bonus.