Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cafe Habana

A couple weeks ago, I met up with friends in Soho after the Food Truck Festival fiasco.  We decided to eat dinner at Cafe Habana, a place my friends have been raving about for a while.  Because it was early evening, we didn't have to wait long and soon got seats at the bar - the best spot in the house to see all the action.
We ordered mojitos, micheladas, and just a plain old beer.  The mojitos were fresh with tons of mint, although a bit on the sweet side for my taste.  The michelada was good, but Caracas Arepa Bar's are much better.  All around though, it was a good start to the evening.
My friend insisted we start out with the corn, and I was not going to fight her on it.  I mean, she has been talking about Cafe Habana and its corn as if there was no other reason to go there, but for the corn.  It lived up to its reputation; it was to die to for.  The grilled corn comes on a skewer, and the corn is rolled in cotija cheese and chili powder.  Spicy, sweet, salty, and a little zip at the end from the splash of lime juice.
For dinner I got the Baja style fish tacos.  Although the fish was fried, it did not seem greasy, and the cabbage and tomatoes really brightened the whole dish up.  Seriously though, the best part of the meal was the soupy black beans.  I am guessing they were probably cooked in some animal fat, because they were so flavorful.  They were so good in fact, that I stopped feeling guilty for eating them after the second bite.
One of my friends got the Cuban sandwich, which was voted best NYC.  The pressed sandwich is filled with pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles, and is served with a side of fries.  As a spectator, I thought the sandwich looked delicious, but my friend said it was a little underwhelming.  I snuck a few of his fries while he was in the bathroom, and they hit the spot.  They were slightly flimsy but still crisp, and were only enhanced with the soft and fluffy centers.
If you are in Soho and in the mood for a little Cuban fare, I would definitely recommend trying Cafe Habana.  The place is pretty small, so if you do not feel like waiting for a table, there is always the take-out joint next door.  You at least have to come and try the corn!  But if you cannot make it in, then you can always try the drippy Mexican corn, posted here.

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