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Eating in Havana Cuba -- El Paso Restaurant

Musicians in El Paso Restaurant in Havana
Musicians in El Paso Restaurant in Downtown Havana

El Paso Restaurant in Havana

This restaurant is across the park from the Capitolia, a well known landmark in the center of Havana. It has great food at a very good price. It is indoors but the whole street side wall is open. So it has the feel of an outdoor cafe. The open side is covered with a grill to keep out beggars, which make a good option for tourists who want to experience eating on the street but with comfort and without bveing hasseled. (However, when we were there all but one other table was filled with locals, who came for the good Cuban food at good prices.) It is very lively and for a while, a live group of musicians numerous performed pieces with Cuban instruments. They drew an audience of listeners and even dancers who gathered around the grill on the sidewalk outside to enjoy the music.

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Prices at El Paso Restaurant


Pork
Pork "lomo" with potato chips and purple rice in El Paso Restaurant

The restaurant menu offers several "combination" meals for 3.50 CUC (roughly the same in dollars, $3.50). We had a friend chicken breast combo and a "lomo" combo, which turned out be two smallish but delicious pork chops. The rest of the combination meal consisted of "purple rice" (rice cooked with black beans, which in turn makes the rice itself a brownish purplish color. This is a very common dish in Cuba cafes. The meal also came with a salad which turned out to be various pickled vegetable (carrots, squash, part of a corn cob, etc.) Which being pickled seemed safe to eat, while we choose not to eat any raw vegetables or salads. (Other days the salad was different.) The meal also came with some potato chips, which were a bit more chewy than the crisp ones we are used to. A fantastic bargain at $3.50.

Drinks in El Paso were also what you would have to just call cheap. Only .70 CUC for soft drinks (Cuban brand), 1.20 for a cuban beer, 1.00 for vodka, 1.50 for whisky, 0.65 for 500ml bottled water and just 30 centavos for an espresso.


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