Havana Restaurant #2
1 Battle Sq
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
If I were judging solely based on the staff, this would be a comfortable four stars. Anyone who treats our fluffballs that well while coping with road-addled questions while keeping everything from blowing away in the wind deserves recognition.
If I were judging on my wife's Cuban bowl, a nice combination of pork, yellow rice, and plantains, this would be three stars with an option for more. The plantains were perfect, the yellow rice was nicely flavorful without any medicinal hints, and the pulled pork was let to its own good flavor.
But my dish… Oops. I decided not to order the same thing as my wife. I poached far more from her plate than she was willing to try from mine. I had a dish labeled as "cocoa-drizzled pork tenderloins." I'm not even sure where to start… The steamed vegetables were fine. That's a good place. The plantains were as good as my wife's and definitely the highlight along with some nifty fried root things. The white rice tasted like cheap Oriental take-out. The wafer-thin pork tenderloins had, um, rather more "mouth feel" than appropriate. You could pretty much hear them rip apart. And the "cocoa?" Maybe my brain has been too trained by mole dishes, but I wasn't expecting Hershey's syrup. Maybe they ran out of ingredients and delivered the tourist special. I'm Florida born and raised, so I shouldn't complain when others pull that on me, but… Oops.
I get the feeling that the traditional dishes here are solid. When the chefs branch out, well, perhaps they should try their ideas on a few people first.