We went to Havana Rumba after a long night of celebrating Lauren's birthday. We were all looking pretty weary and the hotel coffee just didn't cut it that morning (it kind of tasted like tree bark). Lucky for us Havana Rumba's house coffee was delicious. It was fairly strong and had a great flavor, enough for me to drink it black.
Steve and I were super hungry so we ordered some empanadas to hold us over until our main dish arrived. These were chicken empandas with a roasted red pepper sour cream sauce for dipping. I'm a sucker for empanadas and I think they are one of the world's most perfect portable foods. They were lightly fried and crisp. Tasty and NOT dripping with oil. I mean, look how perfect and pretty they are!
Steve and I are pork people. We love some pig and Cubans sure know how to cook a pig. Steve went with the Masas de Puerco which is basically fried pork chunks. The pork chunks are covered with grilled onions. Steve though that the pork itself was a little bland, but tasted much better when eaten with the onions. Unfortunately, there weren't enough onions for Steve's liking on the plate. The side dishes were traditional congris (rice and beans) and fried plantains. The plantains were really good! But honestly, I don't think I've had a plantain that I didn't like.
I ordered the Lechon Asado which came highly recommended by Gillian. Lechon Asado is a pulled pork dish where the pork has been marinated in citrus and spices. This dish was a winner. The pork was tender and had just the right amount of fat. The pickled onion on top was a nice contrast. Have I mentioned before how much I love pickled things and vinegar in general? The Lechon came with congris and yucca. I wasn't always the biggest fan of yucca. I usually found it dry and stringy. But I really enjoyed Havana Rumba's take on it. They cooked it long enough that it wasn't tough and stringy, plus the added spices on top gave it much needed flavor. This was a very large portion of food for me. We wound up taking half of it home to Nashville and our car smelled like pork for days.
Nashville only has one Cuban restaurant and it's fairly small with a limited menu. I've been craving Cuban for a while and getting to have lunch at Havana Rumba was such a treat! Now how can we get them to open one in Nashville?