Cuban food in Hawaii?…

Hawaii is blessed to have such a diverse cultural scene.  This leads to a unique food scene as well.  When people talk about the major food cultures of America, they include New York, Northwest (Portland and Seattle), San Francisco, New Orleans, and I include Hawaii.  Hawaii is grouped with the northwest for things like the James Beard awards, however I disagree.  Having lived in both Washington and Hawaii, I see a difference.  Hawaii blends many types of foods, but still keeps them distinguishable.

But of all the types of food in Hawaii, I never expected to find Cuban.  Sure Cuba’s half-way across the world but I didn’t really think there was a market for Cuban food before.  Until I found Soul de Cuba Cafe in the downtown area.

I went to check it out expecting a spanish/south american/african fusion type menu.  I was shown just that and it was great.  I started out with an el presidente (above).  Mixed drinks aren’t my cup of tea, but it looked good enough: rum, pineapple juice, grenadine and lime juice.  For appetizers, we had two of their empanadas, one chicken and one beef.  It came with a spicy, creamy sauce that went excellent with the crispy skin.

I had the pollo soule de cuba, their signature dish.  I figured when going to a new place, the signature selection must be good; and it was.  Sweet mango salsa over crispy chicken breast.  All over white rice, black beans, and plantains.  I don’t normally order chicken at a restaurant, but it was calling my name.  I think I was sold on the salsa.

My girlfriend had a shrimp pasta which isn’t on the internet menu (as are the empanadas).  It had a peppery kick to the sauce which was nice.  With big portions, dessert wasn’t necessary.  Although if you go, save room because they have about 6 or 7 desserts that look great including flan, pastel and others.

If you’re wandering down Bethel St one night, stop into Soul de Cuba Cafe.  It’s a small joint with a casual atmosphere.  You won’t be disappointed.

*next up…triple whammy grilled cheese…*


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: