Located on a quiet corner in the Fan District, Kuba Kuba is tucked into a former pharmacy/coffee shop. It has authentic and contemporary Cuban dishes including great Cuban coffee. They have an open kitchen and the interior is decorated in the vein of a neighborhood grocery store complete with latin food stuff and votive candles. It is small (10 tables for two, three booths, 7 counter stools) so expect a wait during prime hours. A great place for Sunday brunch as well!
On my last two visits I had the empanadillas (wonderful! You get two with your choice of spinach and ricotta and/or Cuban pork hash), black bean soup (not as spiced as I would have liked), and the Kubanaso, which is the Cuban Pork Sandwich but with chorizo instead of the Smithfield ham. It was perfectly grilled, the chorizo on the mild side, and slices of tender (read: not overcooked) fried plantains. Also try their tres leches cake for dessert. So good!
Favorite Dish: Cuban pulled pork, Cuban pork sandwich, and the steak (nicely seasoned!). And of course that fabulous Cuban coffee!
Kuba Kuba was our second choice for this evening. I had heard it recommended by some of my customers at the bank. When we found our first choice of restaurants closed for the evening, we agreed to eat here. Nat loves Cuban and most Latin American food, so he wasn't too disappointed. It is a very small restaurant in the Fan just a block off Monument Avenue. Kuba Kuba has the feel of a friendly neighborhood restaurant...in Havana. It was a Tuesday night in early March and the place was packed. The service was as good as it could have been with one overworked waiter in that type of crowd. I like this place and I have been several times since then.
Favorite Dish: I had the arroz con pollo (rice and chicken). Unlike Nat's, this version of the chicken and rice had peppers, onions, tomatoes, and peas together with several whole chicken breasts. I had to have the rest of my food boxed for the next day's lunch. Yet, he did make room for a type of yellow cake with whipped cream icing for dessert.
It was a stroke of luck that my friend Lee and I discovered this place. We had originally planned to go to a soul food establishment on the South side. However, that restaurant was closed on Tuesday nights. So, a friend of Lee's recommended Kuba Kuba. I thought the only Cuban restaurant was Havana 59 which had been closed due to the Hurricane Gaston flood. Ironically, Kuba Kuba is only a couple of blocks down the road from Brasilian Cafe. We had never heard of it because it is another of those cozy hole in the wall type of places in Richmond's Fan. It was packed plumb to the rafters at 7pm on a Tuesday night in early March. It has the feel of a Cuban-style diner with Latin American music playing in the background, a Cuban mural on the upper wall behind the dining area, not to mention the unmistakeable aroma eminating from the open kitchen. They sell all kinds of Latin American style drinks including tins of Cuban coffee, which I bought and took home. The service was as attentive as it could be considering our poor server was the only one on duty with all the aforementioned crowd. He earned every tip he got. When you take a cozy hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a Bohemian part of town, add in a cuisine I love, plus reasonable prices, good service, and a little appropriate ambience, you have a happy b1bob! 5 stars aren't enough for Kuba Kuba!
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Favorite Dish: I had a tiny cup of Cuban coffee just before deciding on what to have for the entree. For that, I had the tortilla con langostinos (crawdad omelet, for those in Roxboro). It contains eggs, potatoes, onions, parsley, and crawdads (which are like little lobsters). The omelet came with a square of Cuban-style cornbread. Any way you scramble the egg or cut the chicken, I recommend Kuba Kuba wholeheartedly.
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