Fidel, the ox, and the garlic


Dave’s View:  What was I expecting when I went into the Havana Cafe Cuban Cuisine establishment off of 38th and Moller Road in Indianapolis?  I’ve never had Cuban food, so I didn’t have any dish to compare it.  Let’s just say that when I went inside the cafe, I was thinking Mexico.  Four walls painted in orange with a painting of a boat on the sea done, by looks of, a ten-year old.  On another wall, a soccer poster.  Okay, not the best interior, but not the worse I’ve seen.

The waiter came out and I decided to try the Filetillo de Pollo al Alguillo.  Plain in simple, it’s sautéed chicken in garlic sauce served with rice, black beans and plantains.  The chicken was delightful, but a warning.  This is extreme GARLIC.  Six hours later that garlic will be coming out of your pores and your significant other will not enjoy your company.  The black beans were well cooked and the plantains were excellent.  The best plantains I’ve ever had so far.  They are like shaped like steak fries and they melt in your mouth.  I’ve also tasted the Ox Tail.  That’s right Ox Tail.  The very tail that is directly attached to the behind of an Ox.  The meat was well tenderized and tasted fantastic.  It’s like pork, but Ox has a totally distinctive flavor all on its own.  If you’re thinking about ordering it, do it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.   I also sampled some Cubano, which is the traditional Cuban Sandwich.   The sandwich has many layers of meat served with mustard and pickles, but it’s not your typical club sandwich.  This sandwich screams Cuba.

Never had Cuban food?  Try this place.  Keep an open mind!

Service:  8  Food:  9  Ambiance:  7  Total:  24 out 30

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 Andrea’s View:  I had read some reviews of Havana Cafe online after we had selected this restaurant.  They were mainly mixed, so I did not know what to expect.  Most of the reviews mentioned  the lack of English spoken by the restaurant staff, so imagine my surprise when the owner said to us as we sat down, “Hey guys, how are you doing today?”  Don’t get me wrong, Spanish was the dominant language, but do not be frightened of a perceived language barrier.   I do not know if this restaurant is truly Cuban, but I suppose that does not matter, as the food is delicious.  I ordered the masitas de puerco fritas, which is fried pork with rice, black beans, and plantains.  The pork was cooked perfectly, as it was crispy on the outside and fork tender on the inside.  The rice and beans were good, but I am sure it is  hard for a latino restaurant to mess up rice and beans.  The plantains were awesome.  They were deep-fried, so when you took a bite all the plantain sweetness just melted in your mouth.  Two friends joined us on this occasion and we all sampled each other’s food.  When M asked which dish we all liked best, none of us could answer.  They were all that good.  Dave and I will be back, and we encourage all of you to visit as well.  You will not be disappointed. 

Havana Cafe on Urbanspoon

Havana Cafe on Foodio54


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