Just because I’m going vegetarian doesn’t mean I’m going to live like a monk. So Havana Rumba is the ticket when I want a good vegetarian meal without the deprivation.
It had been one of those days that screams for the immediate sedation of a margarita. And, luckily, it was happy hour, so I scored my drug of choice for only $5. The crime partner got a craft beer.
From there, we ordered the guacamole, the vegetarian tamale, and the veggie skewer which comes with rice and black beans as well as fried plantains.
The guacamole at Havana Rumba is served with plantain chips, a lovely variation on the traditional corn chip. The plantain chips are ever-so-slightly sweet.
This dish comes beautifully presented as a perfectly round scoop with a single plantain spiraling out of the top. I was so hungry that I decimated it before remembering to take a picture.
I am content for the vegetarian tamale to be one of life’s ongoing mysteries. I once asked the waitress what was in it and she said, “corn.” So I am going to leave it up to the strict vegans to make demands for an ingredients list. That leaves me more time to just enjoy myself.
It comes served on a single corn stalk as is traditional. Having consulted a couple recipes, I gather it might be made with masa harina, a rough grain made of corn.
The skewer of vegetables, presented much like a kebab, was fabulous. The rice and black beans come together to form your complete protein. I really like the black beans at Havana Rumba. They are perfectly seasoned.
The vegetable skewer features onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. It’s basically a kebab minus the meat.
Nothing we ordered was mouth burningly hot. According to our Cuban friend, Omar, Cubans don’t really go in for hot food. Havana Rumba lets the fresh vegetables do all the talking. If you want to drown them out, there’s hot sauce aplenty for you.
We left just as the live music was kicking up. But if you’ve never gone to Havana Rumba on a band night, you are missing out.