• Cuba Travel

AL CARBON


HAVANA RESTAURANT REVIEW


Al Carbon is the grill and wood-fired oven side of Ivan Chef Justo, both located in the same building, but with separate entrances. This is one of the best restaurants in Havana, and the quality of the food and service is excellent. The menu offers a wide variety of dishes and ingredients, from fish and shellfish, to goat, rabbit, and the usual Cuban offerings of pork and chicken. Chef Justo prepares the best ceviche in Havana and is the best Cuban interpretation of Peruvian ceviche that I have had in Cuba. The bread is not complimentary, but if you’ve been in Cuba a few days or weeks, and are craving good bread, you’ll find it here. The suckling pig and arroz con pollo are both house specialties, unfortunately on this last visit the arroz con pollo was not up to par. The flavor was just right, but some of the rice was undercooked, and the staff seemed to take is as a normal occurrence. The suckling pig and arroz con pollo are large entrees that serve two to three for $18 each. None of the main entrees include side dishes, which must be ordered separately. We ordered the red bean stew with white rice, not spicy like in New Orleans, but very good. For dessert try the cuatro leches, which is served in a condensed milk can, it is outrageous. Drinks range from $3 to $6, as do desserts and coffee. These are tourist prices, and most of your fellow dinners will likely be foreigners as well. But for quality food in Old Havana, Al Carbon is the best. The service at Al Carbon is very good, as is the ambiance and the location right across the street from the Museum of the Revolution, which was Cuba’s Presidential Palace before the revolution. Al Carbon is on the other side of the building from Chef Justo, and keep in mind that smoking is allowed at Al Carbon. Al Carbon is at Aguacate #9 and Chacon, and the phone number is 7 863 9697. You just make reservations for dinner. By Frank Gonzalez


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