It is not that often in Cuba that I get to converse with tourists who are here for a short while. Every one loves Cuba and the three Spaniards I had dinner with were no different. Long before they left these shores they had become addicted to the sense of cuban attachment. They recount countless stories of how cubans try their best to get their attention so that ini the end cubans get what they want or go after another victim, you do have to be clever not to fall into the schemes of the cubans. I must say that tourists have a sense of how safe is this country and they quite eagerly embrace the cuban practices.
Los Amigos is a very successful enterprise run by black cubans, thus bringing truth to the saying that all cubans when necessary would wrok very hard. Throughout the time we were there, they were busy and at 11 30 pm when we left fresh diners were still coming in.
The menu is not adventurous butis well known, it is well prepared. The salads come presented well but it is the same ingredients once sees at cheap restaurants as well,
When we arrived at 9 30 all tables were occupied and we saw our names under reservations for 10 pm. The living room of the house had been converted into a paladar,where there were three tables wedged together and a corner bar, in the opening on the wall was the communication to the kitchen, on the other side. There was an entrace to another room where there were two other tables ( possibly not allowed but then they an easily shut it off if inspectors were to come, there was a member of the family at entrance watching who is coming and who is going, just to be sure). Very friendly service, there were two servers both very busy. The menu is ordinary but may not be ordinary for a non cuban: bistec uruguayo, pollo canciller may sound strange to spaniards. The salad was totally unimginative. I noticed that the prices have risen, but that is the global trend, but it is only for people in the outside the salaries have increased! Majority of the diners were Cuban, this is something I have noticed. And they were all dressed nicely. In fact it was difficult to distinguish the interior from a café in many a countries. What pleased me more than any thing is that the house is owned by Black Cubans and it is very rarely than you see Black Cubans in this enterprise, you are so used to seeing Black Cubans hustling for a dollar of this economy outside the hotels or at cafes where there are tourists. Good Luck to them.
I wanted to order some fish, but Cari, my friend advised me that with this tremendous heat they were having, it isbound to have an effect on the quality of the fish. Chicken Breast breaded with rice.. salad was nothing more than a few straws of cabbage. Instead of ordering a cuba libre, I decided to make my own, but they had run out of many things, since today was Fathers Day! Ron Anejo Blanco which tasted more like the street rum and a can of Tu Kola.. and I could have a drink or two.
The Bicyclist Miguel from Barcelona ordered a bistec uruguayo, in addition to a salad and a bowl of black beans; so did Cari but without Frijoles Negros, Maria ordered another beef dish and Nuria, both of whom are from Malaga had Pechuga de Pollo. Two cervezas, three bottles of water.. and a couple of hours went by swiftly talking about various experiences in Cuba for them. It was refreshing for me to see Cuba through their fresh and such enthusiastic eyes. Also like tourists, they fill their days up with activities, sightseeing, rushing here and there, and you can see that they are extremely happy to be here in Cuba.
So am I!