Let’s Do Lunch at Revolucion de Cuba

Stan heads to Revolucion de Cuba, before his nervously awaited dentist appointment.

I normally visit restaurants on Friday lunchtimes because it gets the weekend off to a good start and shows off the service under pressure, but I called at Revolucion de Cuba on a Tuesday as I had to go to the dentist to have a bridge fitted in the afternoon. I thought that I had better have something substantial for my one meal of the day as I knew that I would be banned from eating for the rest of it. For once I have a huge criticism of the experience. My bill was highly inflated for what I had. Not at the restaurant – that was amazing value – but at the dentist. I think I was charged for the Humber Bridge instead of a couple of fake gnashers. Goodness knows what the Osmonds’ dental bill is.

The premises comprise a huge room with a cocktail bar on one side and various styles of tables and chairs – the restaurant, not the dentist. Unsurprisingly the walls were covered with photographs of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway. Strictly speaking Hemingway had nothing to do with the Cuban Revolution which overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1959; in fact he left for Idaho in 1960 when he heard that Castro wanted to nationalise American property on the island and never went back. The music was good and introduced a sunny Latin/Caribbean ambience to a rainy Leeds.

The main menu looked really interesting but I went for one of the Cuban sandwiches. There are three to choose from but I went for the Classic Cubano, billed as ‘the cornerstone of any Cuban lunch hour.’ The description is ‘two toasted slices of glazed Cuban style bread stuffed with roasted mojo pork, sliced ham, cheese, dill pickles and a layer of mustard, served with fries.’ The bread was basically a large baguette, warm and crusty on the outside and soft in the middle. Although all of the ingredients were present and correct, the dill pickle was a little overpowering and masked the taste of the meats and cheese. The fries were thin cut and thankfully came unsalted. I do like salt on fries but I like to be able to regulate the amount. They were crispy and perfectly cooked. The price for this was £8.95 but that included a small glass of Merlot, so this was excellent value. The service was superb, just the right balance of attentiveness without being overbearing. I would return here but next time I will try something from the main menu.

My mind starts wandering in all sorts of directions when I am waiting for meals in restaurants and this time it turned to the after effects of various styles of food. I must stress that it is thirty-six hours since this meal and I am fine. In fact Revolucion de Cuba is one of the cleanest eateries I have visited in ages, especially the toilets, so this is just hypothetical. I was thinking that the after effects from a bad Indian are called Delhi Belly and a duff Mexican will invoke Montezuma’s Revenge, so would a dodgy Cuban give you Castroenteritis? Just a thought.

Mange toutes,

Stan Graham

Stan writes Let’s Do Lunch for Leeds Living.  He also reviews special events for food and drink, which sometimes takes him beyond Leeds.  He has also developed an interest in writing on culture, most frequently dramatic and musical theatre.

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