Friday, January 4, 2008

The (Not) Hottest Spot North of Havana

If you work in Midtown Manhattan, then you know how it goes for lunch during the work week. There are dozens (maybe hundreds) of delis for picking up a quick lunch, and endless upper-end restaurants for business lunches. But, the kind of restaurant that's few and far between is the casual, sit-down restaurant.

When I first started at my current job, I was excited to go out to lunch with co-workers to find out some of the options around my office. One of the first places I went was Havana Central, and since then, I have probably been there 5 or 6 times, for meals or drinks. And every time, I have always loved my experiences there. Since it's a Cuban restaurant, it's a nice change of pace from the regular ol' sandwich and fry places. And, the atmosphere is cool...palm trees, nice decor, and Cuban music makes for an overall pleasant setting.

When going out to lunch yesterday, Havana central seemed like a great choice. Unfortunately, by the end of the meal, I think my opinion of the place changed for the worse. Havana Central is smart...they know their weekday customers are usually on their lunch hour, so they created the limited "Menu Rapido." This guarantees that your food will be served within 15 minutes of ordering. I think that may have lead to some of yesterday's problems. For food to be prepared and served so quickly, it's bound to have been prepared in advance. So, two of the 3 items we ordered came out pretty cold. Usually that's not a problem...find the waiter and have him warm it up. But, the waiter was nowhere to be found. By the time he came over to ask the generic "Is everything ok?" it was too late.

BUT I am hoping that this was just a fluke...and that the freezing cold weather yesterday had something to do with the luke warm food. I'm not going to completely throw in the towel on Havana. I think I'll just skip it as a lunch destination, and stick to their happy hour with great sangria and mojitos

Havana Central
151 West 46th Street
b/t 6th & 7th Avenues
website
Menu Pages listing

2 comments:

Julie said...

Bummer that you had a bad experience at Havana. I´ve been there a few times and loved it. I think Havana is one of the few restaurants in the Times Square area where one can get a decent meal without having to fend off hordes of tourists.

Love the blog, congrats!

Ed said...

For even better cuban food, go to Sophies. There is on located on 40th btwn 7th and 8th and then another on lex btwn 40 and 41. While the food, portion size and prices are all very good, the star of the show is the green sauce that is on every table. I do now know what is in it, but it is highly addicted. Proceed with caution