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Feb 18, 2008 03:49 PM

babalu bob's- cuban in wappinger/ fishkill area

I took my wife here for valentine's day. it's a nice small restuarant about 8/9 table with a flamenco guitar player for background music. to start this place has some really good appetisers, actually the best i think i ever had. now onto the main course: paelle it was nothing to write home about, i have had better way better. the lobster was overcooked my wife thought the shrimp was overcooked. the only thing good i have to say about the paelle was the cuban choriso was out of this world, but there wasn't enough of it for me. Onto desert it was a nice custard flan nice and tastey done right had with coffee.
this place will slow you down, so sit, stay awhile, enjoy the food. You are now back in the 1950's cuba. enjoy this place for what it is. just make sure you BYOB there is no liquor licence.

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  1. Is this the place near Wendy's right off Route 9? I pass it all the time but it always looks dead inside and haven't considered trying it. At one point I thought it actually closed down. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'll have to try it out. Was it crowded when you went?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

      Babalu bob's was full but not really crowded as it probably only has 12 small tables

    2. We tried this place back in January. OK but not a really great experience. Maybe it would have been better if we had BOOB!

      1. I went just recently, the have a lunch buffet with a pretty good selection for the price. Food was really good, being of cuban descent- its really hard to impress me. Its authentic.

        1. Went here a few weeks ago with a friend. It was like a Wednesday night and the place was dead. I think there was one other table being served.

          Regardless - it was DELICIOUS! I don't really know alot about Cuban food, so I can't comment on its authenticity. But I will absolutley be returning. When we sat we were served complimentary plantain chips w/ a lime type dipping sauce.

          I had the Habanero Mango Pollo with yellow rice and black beans. The chicken was juicy as all hell, and the sauce was AWESOME, with a bit of heat (not too much though). They make it as a sandwhich, too which I hope to get during a lunch break sometime.

          My friend had the Mariscos con Coco - which was scallops and shrimp in a coconut sauce with rice and beans. Didn't try it but looked (and smelled) great. She said it was really good.

          Service was nice - wish I had known in was BYOB. To thumbs up! I will def go back. Just hope it doesnt close, as it never really looks super crowded and its location is a bit weird.

          12 Replies
          1. re: kforkelly

            Looks like it has, in fact, closed.
            We went there last weekend and it was empty, with a "for rent" sign.
            This was a huge disappointment as we initially went to Beacon looking for Jamaican Spice which apparently has also closed.
            That was our backup.

            Tough times for restaurants these days I guess.
            If anyone happens to know if they just moved elsewhere - please let us know.

            1. re: LJNew

              thanks for the post...we were going to go there this friday for first time, you saved us the trip - but disappointing based on what i've read.

              1. re: bob gaj

                fear not...they have moved...they are about a half mile west of the 84 and 52 intersection on 52...cvs is there

                1. re: corky

                  thanks! saw the ad in the saturday insert-mail-newspaper, but didn't think things had changed (i've seen places that have closed but their ads still ran in there)

                  should be able to check it out this weekend...appreciate the heads-up.

                  1. re: bob gaj

                    no problem bg...i will look forward to your review

                    1. re: corky

                      ok...went yesterday because we've got other plans for the weekend. picked up simple things for lunch for myself and the family. i am barely familiar with authentic cuban, though i've been to miami for a few days and walked several miles down calle ocho. here's the results...

                      -> appetizer, croquetas habanera (3 ham/chorizo and fried). the shape of small mozzarella sticks rather than balls, they weren't quite as light as i'd hoped. would have been much better if i had them with a drink before dinner, ok in the circumstances.
                      -> veradero beef. we got this with rice (choices included real cuban, white or yellow with beef; we got the latter), it came with lettuce/tomato and with the beef, onions and red/green peppers. wasn't especially flavorful, just done competently. my kids loved it.
                      -> mango habanero chicken sandwich. do NOT get this on a sandwich! the bread, which was real good, just didn't work with the chicken. i didn't find it hot or spicy, but flavorful, and when i ate the chicken without the bread, i liked it much better. next time, i'd get the regular dish with rice.
                      -> gallego sandwich. now this WORKED. it's serrano ham, ham, chorizo, pork and swiss with mustard and dill pickle. i don't like mustard, but there's only just enough mustard to add some flavor, and same with the pickles. this tasted great.

                      general comments: the cuban bread sure seemed like the real deal, tasted great. there was a TON of food; i got all this on the "take out" menu (which replaces the lunch menu, though the gallego was regular priced), it's been 3 meals for adults + a little bit for kids, and there's between 2 and 3 meals left.

                      also, they now have a lunchtime buffet. i couldn't quite see what was in the buffet, i'm sure someone can call and ask.

                      there were 10 or 11 tables. i know i didn't get the classic cuban dish, ropa vieja....but i can't accurately compare it to other things.

                      anyhow, there ya go. on another note - is daniel mochon no longer at the poughkeepsie journal? i know they've had layoffs...and his columns are no longer appearing in the paper the past 3 months. it would be disappointing if he were gone; he's able to judge high end food or comfort food and judge it on its relative merits.

                      1. re: bob gaj

                        The place sounds interesting and although a hike for me from Southern Westchester will keep it in mind on our next trip up that way. FYI on the croquetas, they are supposed to be shaped as you described and should be fried and while there are several varieties, ham is one of the most common. Perhaps theirs were just not to your liking or from frozen and not homemade. I can't tell but from your description they sound very similar to the stuff in Miami.

                        1. re: bob gaj

                          Thanks for the review. One question - do they have a liquor license in the new place?

                          1. re: LJNew

                            layla - thanks for the clarification on the croquettes; i've only had spanish ones as my comparison point.

                            lj - they must have a liquor license because i saw a bunch of bottles of various alcohol behind the bar area...

                            1. re: LJNew

                              We went last night and had a pretty good meal - and tons of food leftover for the rest of the weekend. We started with the tamales with pork (awesome) and the empanadas, which were also very good, although really hot when served - they need about 5 minutes to cool down.

                              Hubby had the gallego and it was good, but he wanted mayo (I know, not cuban at all, but he's from the south and puts mayo on everything - too bad they didn't have any for him). I had the pollo con arroz, and the chicken was fantastic - almost like butter.

                              They do not have a liquor license - it is BYOB.

                              All in all, a pretty good place to eat, and definitely a place to share meals!

                              1. re: gvogelge

                                We finally made it to the new location of Babalu Bob's. It filled up while were there - not that many tables there anyway. We also found out it is definitely BYOB, which we will do next time.

                                We had empanadas to start - good but kinda bland I thought. We both had the Pork Cerdo/Pernil which was excellent - meltingly tender and succulent of roast pork. It is maybe the best pork I have had at a restaurant. Came with tasty black beans and rice, and a fresh crisp bit of salad. We enjoyed the meal. Service was good and friendly, and we appreciated that the hostess ran after us when we left to find out how we liked the meal! She seemed to be genuinely concerned that we had a good experience.
                                We agree - a good place to eat.

                            2. re: bob gaj

                              Thanks for your detailed notes. Sounds like the gallego is def the way to go.

                              Mochon has indeed stopped writing reviews for the Pojo News. Very sad. My wife and I recently sought him out at the huge discount wine shop where he works in Wappinngers just to tell him much we enjoyed his writing - and to tell him that we think he gave Tanjore short shrift! You will be charmed to know that Elephant in Kingston is a Mochon favorite. You should pay him a visit. Really nice fellow.

                2. babalu bob's will be closing either this friday or saturday.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: bob gaj

                    Did Babalu Bob's close for good or did they move to a new location?? Looking for some good authentic Cuban/Puerto Rican food in the Hudson Valley...difficult to do. If Babalu Bob's closed for good...why??

                    1. re: millie212

                      "babalu bob's" is closed for good.

                      the chef MAY reopen another place in a couple months. if so ,it would likely be where the old place was (that side street off of route 9, across from wendy's).

                      can't get into all the details about why they closed, but they weren't making as much as they needed, plus i heard that there were some service issues. i haven't been to the puerto rican place down the road in fishkill on route 52...if you're looking for something which is different, but not cuban/puerto rican, there's los hornitos, a chilean bakery on route 9...

                      1. re: bob gaj

                        Are you talking about Cabana (I think it's called)? In the same strip mall as The Keltic House and Tanjore? I ate there maybe a year ago, and enjoyed it, but unfortunately I forget what I even ate. I'll have to try it again.

                        1. re: Solstice444

                          Cabana, the place you are talking about is a different place then Babalu Bob's. It's most recent location was in the shopping center on Rt. 52 in Fishkill with CVS and Gold's Gym. It was on the same strip as Fishkill Bagel's.

                        2. re: bob gaj

                          I only went once and service was an issue. It's too bad because the food was good. I hate to see local places go out of business because of something like poor service.