Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eating in homes a fine way to dine in Havana

Eating in homes a fine way to dine in Havana
Food | Travel
Family-run restaurants earn mention on itineraries
April 27, 2011|By Ann Trieger Kurland, Globe Correspondent

HAVANA — Chugging along in a cobbled together 1953 Dodge taxi (vintage
US cars are common here), we drive past Art Deco buildings and
colonial-style mansions, a reminder of Havana's past grandeur. Now,
roads are worn and structures are crumbling from neglect. We ride down
the Malecón, the road winding along the Gulf of Mexico, and leave shabby
neighborhoods behind as we make our way to La Cocina de Lilliam. This is
one of the city's best paladares, a privately owned restaurant in a
home, which is a legal enterprise here.

Paladares are scattered all over Havana in houses and apartments tucked
into residential side streets. Some are listed in guidebooks, but most
people discover them by word of mouth. In the mid-1990s, the government
allowed Cubans to set up these small home restaurants, with some
restrictions, including the rule that only family members could work
there. Now, they can hire cooks and waiters.

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