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alma de cuba - what's good?

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Hey Folks -
Heading out to Alma de Cuba for a late dinner tonight. Decided on AdC for the end of a Starr gift certificate.

Yes, I know it's loud. I'm ok with that for this occasion. (And none of the Starr places are really that quiet)

But what's good there? And, just as important, are there dishes that we should avoid?
We're genreally seafood fans, but also like chicken, pork... basically all meats but beef.

We like the food at Mixto and used to like the food at Cafe Habana (before it closed). Are the strenghts similar at Alma de Cuba?

Thanks!

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  1. The dinner menu has changed a bit since we've been there last (we usually go to lunch there) but the lechon asado is great and the vaca frita is usually pretty good. They also have great arepas and pastillion but that's only for lunch as far as I know. Lately the ceviche there has been a bit disappointing but the cigar dessert is well worth the calories.

    1. Alma is one of my favorite restaurants and I've been there more times than I can count...I've tried pretty much everything on the entire menu. In my opinion, the not to miss starters are the smoked marlin and sancocho de pollo (soup). Both are incredible. For main dishes, my favorites are the seabass and, as bluehen mentioned, lechon asado (pork).

      Since you mention that you're seafood fans, I must tell you that the dishes that have disappointed me are the Xim Xim (shrimp) and scallops. Both were definitely good, but still somewhat disappointing.

      Bluehen is right on about the cigar...go for it!

      Enjoy & report back!

      2 Replies
      1. re: AllisonS

        thanks for the feedback.
        how 'chocolatey' is the cigar? we're not anti-chocolate, but we tend not to go for really heavy chocolate desserts.

        1. re: Bob Loblaw

          i actually went to alma de cuba for my birthday, and the food was delicious. for appetizers we got the empanadas and the royal palm dates. for entrees we ordered the one vegetarian dish and the chicken dish. also after you place the order they give some complimentary bread. we loved it all. amazing food.
          for dessert we ordered the chocolate cigar which is heavenly in my opinion. from what i remember its not too chocolately - i think its actually an almond cake wrapped in chocolate or something like that. the other desserts sounded reallly good, but the cigar was truly one of the best desserts ive ever had..

      2. Ok, reporting back.
        GF and I ate at Alma de Cuba last night.
        Liked it, didn't love it. We'd eat there again, but are in no rush to return.

        We started with the smoked marlin 'tacos' and a selection of 3 ceviches. these, along w/the mojitos, were the best part of the meal. they were really good, really fresh. i especially liked the 'pulpo' one, an octopus ceviche.
        for the entree, we split the lechon asado (sp?), a pork-w/crusty-skin dish. this was very good, although a bit underseasoned (or maybe just undersalted?) for my taste.
        dessert, we went with the cigar. this was good, but, as i feared, a bit too chocolatey for my tastes. i did like the ice cream that went with it.
        i'm thinking we'd have been better off with a fish entree and a fruit dessert, I got the sense that those were the things that they really did well.

        my sense overall was that it was a good restaurant but that, for the money, there are better options. among starr restaurants i've eaten at, i liked it more than contiental and jones (although I ate at jones years ago), but less than tangerine and parc. among cuban or cuban-influenced restaurants, i'd say that the food was better than mixto or the old cafe habana, but that those two places are better deals and more fun places to be.

        if i get invited back i'd definitely go, and stick w/the seafood. i thought that they did that very well.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Loblaw

          We ate all appetizers and salads last time and enjoyed it more than times we ordered entrees

          1. re: Bigley9

            I think that's the way to go.
            we do that w/some frequency anyway (and in any case, never get entrees that we don't share anyway).