Sunday, October 14, 2012

Havana Hideout – Delicious Treasure Found

As we were vacationing in South Florida this past week, I always take the opportunity to try something new as far as restaurants are concerned. And even though Havana Hideout was on my list of places to try for quite a while, we never actually got there till now, since it’s a little bit of a trip from where we were staying. Well now after going, I’m happy to say that we’ll definitely be back to this fabulous and somehow yet still subdued hideaway.

Before I get into Havana’s relaxing atmosphere, I must caveat this review with the fact that this place has been featured on Guy Fieri’s popular, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives program on the Food Network, which Dan and I are big fans of. So we kind of knew that we were in for something good.

Walking up to its building (or more accurately described as a shack), Dan was a bit skeptical, but I had high hopes. We walked in, confronted by a really laid back vibe with some current alternative rock jams, a waitress at the bar and some casual stools to sit on. We ordered from the menu, and of course noticed that it had a special section citing the choices Guy tried when he came to visit.

After placing our orders, we headed outside to the picnic area that made you feel almost as if you were at the beach. There were picnic tables, casual metal chairs, beach umbrellas and even a sandy texture to the ground. The tunes we heard inside carried through and we immediately felt relaxed and happy to be there.

Since our eyes gravitated to Guy’s choices right away, I went with the spicy fish tacos and Dan chose the Triple D, which sounded fabulous, and I knew I’d have some of it to sample.

Grilled Achiote Rubbed Fish Tacos – I adore fish tacos and was hopeful for something yummy. It was great to see that Havana delivered, and then some, with their large fish tacos, dressed with a sweet fresh pineapple and red pepper salsa. Never seeing something like this on a fish taco, I welcomed their creativity and think it worked really well to balance out the spice used in the fish. I also liked the crunchy cole slaw at the bottom of the taco, which gave it yet another element of uniqueness - overall, a home run and something I’d highly recommend.

Triple D – Dan’s Triple D plate was gargantuan, and besides including one of the fish tacos identical to mine, it also had a half of a Cuban sandwich and a generous piece of pionono (a Puerto Rican layer dish with ground beef, sweet plantains, raisins and olives sealed in a hearty sauce). I had a few generous pieces of the latter two dishes and my favorite by far was the Cuban, which was beautifully toasted on the outside and had the most flavorful contents of tender roast pork, smokey ham, beautifully melted cheese, and a crunchy pickle. They also used a really creamy, spicy mayo, which we adored—serving as the binder for all the ingredients.

The pionono was really amazing as well, the sweet plantains being really soft and almost dessert like. I loved taking a huge forkful of the meat and the plantains together, enjoying this expertly sweet and savory marriage.

Service and Cost:
Although Havana Hideout has only one waitress and another person who cooks the food, they do an absolutely bang-up job. Our waitress couldn’t be friendlier and made sure we were taken care of to the T. She was warm and welcoming but not imposing, as some of our waitstaff at other restaurants that week.

Costs are really wallet friendly and for the above mentioned food we ordered (at huge portions), as well as two 8 oz. craft beers, we paid about $34 total. You did well Guy – thanks for the awesome find!

3 Mmmms

Havana Hideout – 509 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth, FL 33460

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