Restaurant Review #48: Havana (New Hope, PA)

New Hope is one of my favorite places to visit. Still, it is very hit or miss with eating establishments. Many are highly expensive, offering fine dining sized portions, while others just look like they have seen better days. Case in point: a previous lunch I had at Zoubi earlier in the year. The food was excellent, but was so incredibly small and pricey that my friend and I were talking about what we were going to eat next before we had even finished the meal. This time, on another excursion to the riverside town, my family and I were wandering looking for some place new to try. We came across Mojito, a Cuban-themed restaurant. The menu seemed good but there was not one single soul eating there, not inside or out. Warning sign? Oh yeah, especially considering all other restaurants had decent crowds. Located pretty much across the street is Havana, another Cuban restaurant that was crowded, so we walked over there instead. Unlike almost every other restaurant in New Hope, they have no menu posted outside. We took a chance, and the end result leaves me with mixed feelings.

The service was not bad, just unusual. Our waitress, who got all the orders right, barely said anything the entire time we were there. She nodded at everything, and spoke very softly when she did speak. Hardly any emotion at all. It took me a while to figure out if she was being snobbish or is just an introvert, and I could not come up with a clear assessment. No matter, the food ended up being well-priced and hugely portioned. The guacamole appetizer, which was $9, came in a gigantic rectangular plate filled to the brink with tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, salsa verde, and a nice ice-cream scoop sized helping of guacamole. It was fresh, probably made to order. For my meal, I took the safe route and ordered the Cuban Panini. This was not made with cold-cut products, but thick slices of roast pork and ham, topped with cheese, mustard, pickles, and jalapenos. It was not the best thing I ever had, but certainly competent. It came served with a good amount of ultra-crispy fries.

Feeling island-like, I ordered the “Jamaican Me Crazy” cocktail, a concoction consisting of rum, tequila, banana liqueur, and two or three different fruit juices. It was great. About halfway through the drink, I noticed a dead fly floating on top of an ice cube. We were sitting outside, but I was not sure if it fell in or was in it from the beginning. When the waitress came over, I told her, and without saying a word, she nodded and took the drink back. She returned a few minutes later with a new one. Upon sipping it I realized there was now no tequila in this drink (possibly no rum either). Simple mistake? I doubt it. Probably my penance for daring to send it back. I was not even snotty or nasty about it. I simply said very nicely that there was a fly in the drink. I didn’t point the blame at her, the bartender, the tree next to us, or anyone, but that did not seem to matter. You sent that back??? Aha! No alcohol in this one for you! 

Would I come back here again? Yes. The food was adequate and not pretentious. If its a nice day, sitting outside with an island beverage is a great way to hang out. The service still struck me as odd and I’m not thrilled about the way my drink was handled, but sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Havana is located at 105 South Main Street in New Hope, Pennsylvania. 



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