Downtown Roanoke Gets Cuban
Both times I have eaten at Habana Cafe, I have ordered on the food court side of the Market Building - so I have never been in the other side of the restaurant. However, it seems to be crowded on the weekends and appears to have already become a popular late night spot for people downtown. There also usually seems to be a good crowd enjoying their patio seating that is available.
I had a similar experience for dinner last night. This time, instead of having a pork stew, I ordered chicken that had been slow cooked with potatoes, tomatoes, and white wine. I stayed loyal to the same two sides because I had enjoyed them so much the first time. Again, the meat was so tender it simply fell off the bone and it was full of great flavor. The flavors of meat when it has been slow cooked is a reminder of how good food can taste when you give it time to marinate and cook. I've never had a home-cooked cuban meal, but I'd imagine it would taste something like this. Suffice to say, I cleaned my plate both times - and for around $8.50, it was a reasonably priced plate to enjoy.
Part of what makes Habana Cafe cool is the fact that everything seems to be truly authentic. The owner, who is Cuban, took the time the design the restaurant himself. He hired his friends and family, who are also Cuban, and that is part of what makes the food so genuine. It is real Cuban cuisine being prepared by people who have grown up making and eating Cuban food. And if places like this continue to succeed, the food scene in the Roanoke Valley looks very bright.
32 Market Square SE, Roanoke, VA 24011
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