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Cuba Libre (Philly) -- a visitor's perspective

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Cuba Libre (Philly) -- a visitor's perspective

Ruth Lafler | Oct 21, 2003 10:52 PM

I was visiting a friend in Philly Monday and asked her to recommend something I can't get in San Francisco. We finally settled on Cuba Libre, since Cuban (and most Caribbean food) is surprisingly rare in the Bay Area.

I realize Cuba Libre isn't traditional Cuban food, but despite a couple of flaws, I enjoyed it. The Fire and Ice was worth getting for the presentation alone, although I thought the tropical fruit (mango?) was a little overpowering. I really enjoyed the Lechon Asada-- the meat was juicy and flavorful and all the other stuff on the plate was also good (and plentiful). The orange flan was really delicious.

It was Monday night so it was fairly quiet -- even at 8pm it wasn't full. Decor was fun.

Service was the other flaw: they brought us steamed yucca instead of fried, then told us they didn't have fried, despite having said when we ordered that everything was available. When I checked the bill to make sure we hadn't been charged for it I found we'd been charged for a cocktail we didn't order.

All in all -- for the only meal I've had in Philly in 20 years, it acquitted itself well. The neighborhood is interesting for a tourist, making it a good spot to take visitors.

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