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All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast ~ John Gunther

I love to eat. It’s my way of making the most out of life. I strongly believe there is an entirely different part of the stomach reserved solely for dessert, meaning you are NEVER too full for it!

I have a mad crush on breakfast.

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Havana Central

 151 W 46th St
New York, NY
 

Vamos a Havana!

I’ll be honest – the only reason my family made a lunch reservation here was because it was close to the hotel and I was going to get 1,000 Open Table Dining Points (shameless plug) :) Tho at this point we should all be thanking my quirks…since we had a fabulous meal!!

There are 3 locations for Havana Central in NY, and we ate at the location on W46th, near Times Square, before catching a show (‘In The Heights’ – SEE IT!) The interior and exterior are festively decorated, though for some it might be over the top. I loved it! The waitstaff had awesome uniforms, with Cuban/island flair (flowers in hair, funky patterns).

Havana Central advertises the ‘best mojitos in NY’…so obviously we had to try. They were really good…but more testing should be done to see if they are in fact the best :) Very strong, not too minty, and served with a large piece of sugar cane. And not too much ice…which was appreciated, since the drinks ran about $12-$14. Delicious, great way to kickstart the meal.

The food was excellent. We started with the ‘Special Appetizer’, which our totally cute waitress convinced us we should try. It contained an assortment of nearly everything – avocado stuffed with lobster and shrimp (Mom’s favorite!), beef & chicken empanadas, calamari, shrimp ceviche (fresh, delicious, excellent), and green plantains. I love sweet plantains, and had never tried green plantains before…..and now, I love them too! A really nice balance to the citrus flavors of the ceviche. Not sure if this is a normal menu item or not, but it sure was a fabulous introduction to the tastes and flavors of the restaurant.

We also ordered the Bocadillos de Yuca (yucca bites) which I loved. Tasted like healthy French Fries but with a kick, and not greasy. Served with really awesome chimichurri sauce, which I put on everything else we ordered.

For entrees, my mom & I shared the Seleccion de Plato Vegetariano (mixed veggies, sweet/green plantains, white rice, black beans) and the Arroz con Camarones (large sauteed shrimp with saffron rice). Really hefty portions, satisfying, and really well flavored. Generous portion of shrimp – we got 8 big ones with our entree, for a totally reasonable $15. My dad ordered the Paella de Mariscos (seafood paella), and demolished about 3/4 of it…he said it was excellent, he just couldn’t quite finish it! My boyfriend finished every bite of the Carne Guisada (beef stew), and my 16 year old sister, who is still establishing her palate, said the Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) ’wasn’t bad’. She left with a smile on her face…so that’s a good review in my book ;)

Dessert! The waitress brought about a dessert tray to get a visual, and I was sold on the chocolate cake at first glance, and we opted to split some churros as well. Apparently the dulche de leche cake is the best seller, but it wasn’t for our crowd when chocolate was in the mix. Churros were warm and awesome, though I wasn’t crazy about the chocolate sauce served with the churros (tasted more like a mole than hot fudge sauce). Cake – decadent, sweet, fresh, moist, excellent! Hard to do wrong by me with chocolate cake.

Very vegetarian friendly menu, but with tons of meat options as well. Something for everyone, and pretty reasonably priced (entrees run between $10-$30, with plates such as rib-eye steak on the higher end). Lunch sandwiches looked good and hearty too..lots of burgers, pressed Cuban sandwiches for around $9-$14. Gotta go all out in NY…especially when Dad’s paying ;) I would absolutely go back, but will of course explore other culinary hot-spots on my next visit!

Ceviche de Camarones

Really good, fresh, loved the cilantro and avocado flavors. Tasted so fresh and pleasing to the palate. Ordered as part of the ‘appetizer special’ but runs $12 a la carte. Generous portions of shrimp, great way to start the meal.

Yuca Bites

I really don’t know what it was about them, but they were just SO GOOD – warm, salty, not greasy, and tasted like French Fries, but didn’t…they were just good. The chimichurri sauce was excellent, just wish it came with more so I didn’t have to keep asking.

Seleccion de Plato Vegetariano

Fresh veggies, not oily. Great assortment – zucchini, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, peppers. I generally don’t like fruit-based salsas or garnishes, but the mango slaw was really good. Loved the sweet & green plantains served on the side. Yum!

Arroz Con Camarones

Really good, solid dish. Generous portion of shrimp for the price (about 8). However, not the most flavorful and was expecting more spice from the shrimp, but it was still good and a nice complement to everything else we ordered.

Mmmmmmm - Chocolate Cake at Havana Central

Chocolate Cake

Delicious!! Cake was moist, ganache and chocolate frosting was really excellent and amazingly not too sweet (though at this point, I had ingested so much salt, who knows!) A really fabulous way to end the meal.

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11/01/2010

getrude

NICE TO MEET YOU
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i will like to know you more i can send you my picture and my detail’s I am waiting for your mail to my email address above. please don’t chat me here just send me mail and i will get back to you with love.

here is my privet e-mail’([email protected])

06/04/2009

grubalicioussf

Hey Megster, thanks! I’m thinking I’m taking the fam to Bistro Saint Germain, a little French place in the Haight that’s supposedly pretty kid friendly and has good grub. I really enjoyed reading your review of Brenda’s, glad you were able to get your biscuit fix while in S.F.!!

04/10/2009

nlazear

took your advice at gtown cupcake – went for the lava fudge! INCREDIBLE! had to fight friends over the icing!

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