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Arts and Entertainment Thursday, May 24, 2012 7 years ago

A Cuban Culinary Adventure

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I often use the term "Culinary Adventure" to categorize a restaurant which may not have all the expected attributes of fine dining, yet serves very good, specialty-prepared foods. In other words, there may be something lacking such as décor, locale, menu selection, etc., but the quality of the food trumps all. We realize culinary adventures are not for all, but for those who like to find new and different places, this culinary adventure may be well suited for you.

The Café Havana 3 easily blends with other restaurants and shops along Washington Boulevard north of Main Street. A storefront-type restaurant, Café Havana 3 occupies the southwest corner of a strip mall comprised of a couple of ethnic restaurants, convenience stores and small food shops. Bright and airy, the interior is simple, clean and casual, offering both take-out and sit-down table dining.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the large menu offers a range of home-made Cuban dishes and specialties, including soft drinks and Cuban coffees. Since we were visiting for lunch, we chose the following:

  • Appetizer Sampler Platter: Four ham and cheese croquettes, one tamale, Yuca frita with mojo.  $6.49 What a great way to sample a number of items; all were well-prepared and quite flavorful.
  • Cuban Sandwich:  Roast pork, deli ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and dressing.  9” regular $5.45, with extra meat $6.09 A well-pressed sandwich: The bread was nicely toasted and flaky on the outside with a  warm, amply-filled inside.
  • Black Bean Soup:  Small $2.39, Medium $3.39, Large $5.89 Thick and full of beans, the soup has a good texture and flavor. Adding some hot sauce makes it perfect.
  • Tossed Salad: Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons.  $3.25 A very simple green salad, fresh and colorful and a great value for the price.
Café Havana 3 offers an adequate selection of beer, wine and soft drinks to accompany your meal. The service was fast, friendly and efficient.

While Café Havana 3 may not be the right dining place for everyone, we were very pleased with our lunch. The food was well-prepared and very reasonably priced. We are looking forward to our return for dinner!

Café Havana 3

1303 N. Washington Boulevard

Sarasota, FL 34236

(941) 366-3241

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