When it came time to order lunch yesterday, we decided to be a little more adventurous than usual. Forget pizza or sandwiches – we wanted Cuban! So we researched, read menus and discussed, and finally we decided the only way to do Cuban food was to order it from Havana Central. Havana Central has three locations throughout Manhattan (all available on Delivery.com) in Times Square, the Upper West Side and Union Square. So, if our lunch looks good to you (and believe us, it was) head to Delivery.com and order up some of these dishes from Havana Central.
My desire to eat healthy made me a little nervous when it came time to order from Havana Central. Luckily, I discovered that one of the highest rated items on the restaurant’s menu is the Sugarcane-Lime chicken Salad.
The salad consists of grilled citrus and sugar cane marinated chicken breast, mixed greens, black beans, corn, avocado, red onion and tomato tossed in a citrus-coconut vinaigrette. The chicken was so absolutely tender and moist it could have been a meal by itself. But then the avocado, red onion and tangy citrus bite from the dressing complimented everything so well,I could not stop eating. The one personal drawback for me was the tiny fried crunchy pieces that resembled the taste of Frito lays. Now many people might not mind this added crunch but I have never been a big Frito girl, so I simply picked out the tiny pieces.
And because I saw another healthy option on the menu besides a salad I decided I had to give the Cuban Black Soup a shot as well. The soup arrived in a hearty container, hot, but not burn-your-tongue hot and ready to be thoroughly enjoyed. The beans were cooked to a perfect al-dente and the broth had a creamy texture. The chunks of onion and peppers were an added bonus and the soup tasted particularly yummy when I added spoonfuls atop my salad. Maybe my healthy intentions were not completely followed through with everything I wound up eating, but it was totally worth it!
When I heard that we were ordering Cuban cuisine for lunch, I couldn’t help myself but ordering traditional fare. I started off with the sweet fried plantains appetizer. The plantains were moist, chewy, and perfectly gooey and sugary. I found myself indulging in the plantains long after I had put my main dish aside.
Chicken and rice (arroz con pollo) is a Cuban staple, so, naturally, I felt inclined to try Havana Central’s take on the classic! The shredded chicken was tender and melted in my mouth. The yellow rice had the perfect amount of peas, peppers, onions and spices mixed in. Deciding to be a little adventurous, I poured a generous heaping of my black beans and some hot sauce into my rice bowl. After stirring everything together, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the yummy bowl of food.
After doing some research I settled on the stuffed avocado appetizer and the Half Rack of Guava glazed pork ribs with yellow rice and red beans.
Starting off with the avocado stuffed with shrimp and lobster appetizer: The stuffing of seafood was overflowing and plentiful, but I believe the long delivery hurt this dish in some areas. The crispy tostones were not crispy, but still had a nice plantain flavor to them, and had they been fresh out of the kitchen, would have been fantastic.
Onto the main dish of the guava glazed, Havana-style, pork ribs. The glaze was fantastic, enough tropical flavor for the glaze to shine through and give a nice sweetness to the ribs.. After breaking up the yellow rice and combining it with the red beans, I felt like I should have been beach-side in Cuba sipping on a mojito. The rice had a nice saffron flavor and the beans were filled with layers of flavor and little chunks of pork and meaty goodness. Having my feet in the sand with a linen shirt and bathing suit would have been the ideal situation but I was just fine with my imagination in an office conference room.
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