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Sep 17, 2006 09:27 PM

Havana Cuba in Deland

I noticed this place while wandering in Deland.Has anyone eaten there? Is it worth making the trip from Apopka?
I grew up in Miami and have had to lower my expectations for Cuban food, but I still have standards.

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  1. Don't drive to Deland,, Drive to Rolando's on 436 in Casselberry. Order the roast pork and Congri.

    Yes I have eaten at Havana cafe and it wasn't that great. The only thing good was the price. I've had cuban all over Central florida and most will aggree that Rolando's is the best.

    Let us know what you think!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mountdorahound

      I've eaten there. And El Bohio. And Don Pepe's.
      So far, the only place that I have returned to is Pollo Tropical. Pretty pathetic when a chain does it best.
      I'll just keep making my moros and vaca frita at home.
      I just thought I'd take a chance. Thanks for the suggestion.

    2. What did you order at Don Pepe's, now Habana Bar & Grill.

      I enjoy a couple of Cuban dishes, but have found since the remodel that most of the rest of the items have gotten quite bland and lost their Cuban heritage.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Bob Mervine

        It was Don Pepe's when I was there before the redo. i ordered Bistec Empanizado - one of my favorites, even though it's really country fried steak with flair. It was dry. My husband ordered the Ropa Vieja - a dish you don't see as frequently in Miami as it appears on menus here. It was too tomatoey. And an order of boliche tasted like pot roast.
        Lack of Cuban food is the only downside to my move to CF.

        A good bagel place would help too.

        1. re: eimac

          We used to enjoy the food at Don Pepe before they changed their name. Since then, we ate at the 436 place and at their location in Winter Park. What a dissapointment! The menu, although large, it departed from the traditional Cuban menus.
          We ate several times at Rolando, but they need to spruce up the place. The food was better than the new Don Pepe.

      2. You might also want to try The Black Bean Deli in Winter park on 1792. They are take out only. I know cubans from Miami who like them. There are also several Mom & Pop cuban /puerto rican places on 436 and hwy 50 area. Ihave tried one but several years ago and I cant remember the name.
        Bagel Places are non existant in Apopka. The nearest good bagel to Apopka is here in Mount Dora at the Sunshine Mountain Bakery.

        1. (Ugh, I couldn't log in for a week and I've been DYING to tell you hounds about this place!)

          Eimac, I went to Havana Cuba last week and LOVED it. Best Cuban food I've had since leaving Miami -- even DH, a Tampa native, was very impressed.

          I gladly drive there from Port Orange, but I guess Apopka's a bit far. Though downtown DeLand is very charming and it might make a nice day trip.

          We went for lunch: DH had a Cuban that he loved (no palm frond on the bread, but I forget if that's just a Tampa thing); I had arroz con pollo w/black beans, a small side of chopped onions, and flan for dessert. They had a lot of things not on the menu -- I heard someone mention tres leches for dessert though it wasn't on there. That reminds me -- next time I'll ask if they have a stash of Materva out back. They serve Hatuey but no Tropical. :-(

          It's very casual, only seats about 40. Lots of Mami yelling through the window at Papi. Most of the clientele were non-English-speakers or business suits who wandered over from the courthouse.

          ACP was fantastic, rice was perfect, chicken was tender and flavorful. DH nearly cried over the beans (I didn't try them -- I have a longstanding aversion after a bad experience with my Cuban roommate freshman year in college, a microwave and a stuffed Winnie the Pooh. . .LONG story). Flan was to die for. Service was very friendly. Bread was decent -- I didn't ask if it was homemade bc I assumed they'd tell me yes anyway. :-P It was toasted and buttered right, but the slices were very small.

          If there's better Cuban around, I'd love to know. But this is the best I've had in Volusia, definitely. (It's on Woodland Blvd, aka US 17-92, just north of Rich Avenue.) Plus: $20 out the door for lunch!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Covert Ops

            Sounds worth a road trip. And it is a nice motorcycle ride so I can get some exercise on the way back!

            1. re: eimac

              Note: They are CLOSED on Sunday -- I drove all the way out there yesterday and was VERY disappointed!
              They are open for lunch Monday-Saturday and dinner Thurs-Sat only.