Robaina's plantation

Friday 1 June 2018

La Vitrola Restaurant (Havana) March 2018

                  La Vitrola translated to English is 'The phonograph'. A 'Victrola', by definition, is a brand of phonograph, one of the first ones from early 1900's. All gramophones were referred to as a Victrola and in Cuba Jukeboxes were referred to as Vitrola. Knowing this you can understand where the restaurant's name and decor come from. Right in the middle of the restaurant is an old Jukebox.
                  This is not a gourmet restaurant but it does serve up some pretty good food and has been doing so consistently for about a couple of years. I would compare it to a Roadhouse style restaurant in North America but with a Cuban twist. It offers Chicken Fingers, fries, burgers and sandwiches but it also has some Cuban favourites like Ropa Vieja, Lamb in red wine, Tostones and Frituras de Malanga. They've always had a live band playing every time I've come here and it's always been packed, especially outside. I've almost always had to wait for a table. The inside of the restaurant looks like a museum with all it's antique paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling, on the walls and on the floor, just like a Roadhouse back home. The service is prompt, knowledgeable and friendly and a supervisor is constantly walking back and forth making sure the customers are doing ok. The waiters try to figure out where the guests are from so they can put a flag of their country on their food. The only complaints I have, the dessert selection could be better and they have to keep an eye (or nose) on the condiments....we received a mayo that was way off to the point of being poison if we had eaten it. I make a point of never using condiments like ketchup, mustard or mayo at a restaurant in Cuba....with all that heat year round and the ketchup sitting in the sun all day, what could you expect.
                  Looking for some simple food and have a craving for something recognizable, give this restaurant a try, you can't go wrong. Good food, big portions, at a reasonable price with consistently good service. 

Open Mon. to Sun.
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

La Vitrola
Muralla No.151 e/ San Ignacio y Cuba
(+535) 285 7111
Cash Only Accepted
Wheelchair access
Smoking Section Indoors & Outdoors

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