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Jan 12, 2014 04:27 PM

Rosa Blanca

I just learned about the new Rosa Blanca restaurant by the Garces group. Has anyone checked it out yet? I've been craving some Ropa Vieja for a while and haven't found a Cuban restaurant in the area yet that makes one I like. I'm also open to opinions on other Cuban restaurants in Philly if anyone has a favorite spot or dish.

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  1. Funny, we were just there today.

    Between me, my wife, and my daughter we had vaca frita, masitas de puerco, and a cuban sandwich. The vaca frita came with maduros and moro rice and my wife had yuca fries with the masitas de puerco. Overall, everything was pretty good. The only thing that raised an eyebrow was when my wife ordered guava juice as her drink. The server returned with a tall glass of ice and a can of Goya guava nectar...for $3!!

    Normally, we go to Tierra Colombiana for Cuban/Colombian food, so if you haven't been there, that's another place to try.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      Thanks for detailed review. I'll definitely avoid the juices!

      I love Tierra Colombiana, but we always go with our South American friends and order Colombian food. I thought about trying their Cuban offerings, but I was hesitant because I wasn't happy with the Cuban food we ordered at Mixto, its sister restaurant. Maybe I should try it.

      1. re: pbplus

        Philly Ray, I had the same reaction to the Goya nectar! I think mine was even 4 bucks.

        Pbplus, to answer your question about Alma de Cuba, it's good, I've even had better food there than many of Starr's other restaurants, but it's much more revisionist take on Cuban cuisine than Rosa Blanca. I think the possibility of your disappointment at Alma is high.

        1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

          So... maybe I should try Alma sometime, but I shouldn't expect it to take care of my Cuban food craving.

          1. re: pbplus

            Lowereastrittenhouse nailed it. It is a modern interpretation of Latin flavors with a dominance of cuban type dishes. I remember really enjoying the ceviche there. Everything else was ho hum.

            Like you, I have visited Cuba Libre more for brunch than dinner. It has probably been five or six years since I have dined there for dinner. I remember having nice fish there, and a decent wine list. During the week it feels like the cross between a restaurant and club. Not my scene.

            And finally, in yet another restaurant that opened and then the chef leaves in 30 days, Ropa Vieja has a new chef. And no I will not make any outlandish predictions that the place will fold, but it does show the challenges in getting a new restaurant off the ground, and having a stable management in place.

            1. re: cwdonald

              Hmmm... I guess we'll have to watch and see what happens. Clearly even the big names like Garces are not immune to the new restaurant struggles.

    2. Cuba Libre has ropa vieja on the menu and alma de cuba has ropa vieja tacos on the menu.

      Not many other pure cuban restaurants in the area.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cwdonald

        I've been to Cuba Libre for Sun brunch but haven't tried Alma de Cuba. Do you like it? I've seen mixed reviews and didn't want to be disappointed.

        I wish I had the time and money to fly to Miami, stuff myself with Cuban food for a few days, and get this craving out of my system.