Went to Babalu Grill last night at the Power Plant Live complex in Baltimore, and it was quite good. My knowledge of Cuban Food is very limited, so I can't comment on the authenticity of the dishes, but everyone at the table liked what they ordered.
The place is nicely decorated with Cuban music playing, has a great looking bar - with columns and modern stools/tables, and two separate large dining rooms. The one closest to the bar becomes a dance floor late at night on weekends - that's where we ate, and although I'm not sensitive to smoke, after leaving I could definitely smell it on my clothes. Those who are smoke adverse should make sure to be seated in the dining room farthest away from the bar.
We started with drinks from an extensive list of tropical rum drinks ($6). I had a mojito which was quite delicious. Our table shared an appetizer platter which was quite generous and included a sampling of just about all listed on the menu. It is a lot of food for $14, and I would recommend it to get an overview of the offerings. I enjoyed each of the appetizer selections. The salads are also really large and have a nice vinagrette dressing ($5).
I ordered the roasted pork ($15), which was good, but not spectacular. It could have been a bit moister, and was a little plain - the rice and beans it was served with were delicious, the yuca root was really bland. The stewed chicken ($14) with rice was fabulous, and I heard good things about the shrimp, seafood rice dish ($17).
Desserts were great ($4-5) - the bread pudding was delicious. The creme bruelee was less firm than some, but was quite good (although not really my thing).
I look forward to returning in nice weather and sitting outside munching on the delicious appetizers and drinking some mojitos.
I'm glad you had a great meal because I went there last summer and had a pretty poor one and I would like to see it (and the others in the Power Plant) succeed. Also, I thought my experience might have been an exception since the Sun gave it such a good review.
When my wife and I went there, we went on a weekday. We ordered drinks, the appetizer platter and the paella. The appetizers came quickly but were lukewarm. The worst thing was that approximately ten minutes into our meal, and before we had finished the appetizers, our waiter asked us if we were done because the paella was ready. Now, I've never made paella myself, but I know that you can't make good paella in ten minutes. And it wasn't. The chicken and seafood had been simmered to death, and then they just threw the ingrediants together so the rice had no flavour. Also, they put green olives in their version, which just did not work for us. Coupled with the high prices, needless to say, we haven't been back.
Again, I hope this was an aberration. Anyone else try this place?