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Havana Central at The West End
Posted by lisa on 02/15/2014
tried the morningside heights location several years ago and felt the food had an identity crisis...my vegetables tasted like they belonged in the menu of a chinese take-out. so, i hoped it had improved and gave it a second try in january 2014. is it possible that anyone can enjoy the food and drinks here? out of several dishes, only the tostones were good. and the margaritas apparently contained not a dash of liquor . i would never come back here and, as a latina, it disappoints me no end that this is what columbia students will think is authentic cuban food. ugh! the only pleasant part of our dining experience was the great waiter (from paraguay) and the good live music.
Posted by nycgirl113 on 04/22/2012
We met here for a surprise bday dinner for a friend. The restaurant was crowded and even though we had a reservation for 8:30 we were told we had to wait which in my opinion defeats the purpose of reservations. When we were seated we were seated in a booth which was small and uncomfortable. The live music is nice but it's very hard to have a conversation with the music and loudness of the crowd. Our server although nice was always missing in action which was annoying especially when I needed a refill of water or wanted to order a dessert. The food quality was good I ordered ropa vieja which I was surprised the meat was thick and it's usually thin shredded beef she just assumed we wanted yellow rice without offering the other options. It's almost as if the service was rushed then painfully slow. The appetizers while good are way too expensive for what they offer I mean seriously one empanada, few pieces of chorizo, a piece of chicken, and two pieces of corn for $10 is highway robbery. I've been to cuban restaurants in Miami and the food is better prepared and less expensive I'm willing to give the other location of this restaurant a chance but I think a lot of resaturants in city you are paying for the ambiance and decor plus the outrageous rent for them to stay open and while nice decor and ambiance is good the food quality and drinks is what makes the restaurant. I think to keep the cost down I would come here for their lunch specials. Overall it was a nice experience but the service can use some improvement.
Posted by vasian12 on 03/08/2012
I have mixed reviews about this place. The place look like you walked into a Miami restaurant with Cuban posters and palm trees. For one table, you get like an overwhelming number of waiters and waitresses that cater to you. I like the ox tail stew, but didn't like my "sticky" yellow rice. Usually rice crumbles when you stick your fork into it... Anyways, the food was ok. The service was sooooo slow! I mean we had like 4 waiters and it took like 20 minutes for the food to come out. The dessert was okay... nothing special.
Posted by BELLA on 12/31/2011
I don't even know where to begin! I should have gone with my gut instinct when I first walked in and smelled the scent of paraffin wax from all the candles burning on each table. The smell was so strong and overbearing...very cheap! The food was unappetizing! We ordered the tamales which were extremely soggy & extra salty. The pork mofongo wasn't any good either. It was also extra salty! The waiter told us before ordering it that it had pieces of meat throughout, which of course it didn't. However, the fried pork surrounding the mofongo was good. Overall, I would definitely not recommend it. The red beans tasted like cleaning fluid. The black beans were slightly better, but not by much. It tasted more like hand soap. My main dish (oxtail stew) was a also a major disappointment. The meat was as tender as petrified wood and the sauce it was in tasted like a cheap treat from a carnival. The only thing I did enjoy were the tostones. Not sure if it was because I was starving and willing to eat anything at that point. If you are looking for Cuban food (authentic or not)or any type of food at all, this is not the place for you. Please don't embarrass yourself by taking a friend or loved one there. I made this mistake myself and feel truly bad about it!
Posted by Susan on 11/18/2011
Not only was the food mediocre, but it was overpriced and we were overcharged for 3 items on the bill. Item listed for $19 was billed at $21 and there was a "3 extra shrimp" charge not ordered but billed at $6. I ordered snapper and got trout, my friend was told the vegetable plate had eggplant and zucchini and a plate of roasted peppers showed up. Did the $5 marguerita which was billed at $6 have tequila in it? You wouldn't know by me. Ok, staff was pleasant, not it didn't offset other issues.
Posted by William on 11/07/2010
My family and I visited here for the first time on Halloween Eve. We arrived around 9pm when the place was busy and quite crowded. I ordered the vaca frita which was quite dry in my opinion, however the waiter suggested I try something else, which I did and my new order came out quite prompt, and was delicious. The overall service was great, very friendly and attentive. This place had a fun atmosphere, and definitely deserves a return visit!
Posted by anonymous on 07/27/2010
I have been to havana central at west end before and decided to bring some old college friends there for them to try. Firstly I was greeted at the door by a tall host who seated us in a nice area outside. The waiter suggested we try some Mojitos which were top notch, the food which followed was delicious, although it looked a bit plain it was still great. One of my friends food came out later than the others unfortunately, which was a little annoying. Fortunately though the manager offered us a dessert on the house afterwards which soon changed the mood. Overall we had a nice experience and I would recommend this restaurant to those looking to try something different. I will definitely be revisiting HC at the WE, service and food is always great!