Both cruisers and locals have raved about a local Cuban themed restaurant here on the island. Scott and I have had it on our “to eat” list for weeks, and finally got the chance to go last night. Our friends Ed and Elizabeth, on Skylark, brought a snack and joined us for happy hour drinks aboard Sea Life, before we all boarded the Aluminum Princess for shore.
Once we landed at Marina Pariso, it was a short and easy walk to El Varadero. The small waterfront restaurant is located in a quiet neighborhood, several blocks off of the main road.
The smell from the kitchen as we walked in was heaven…garlicky goodness!
The open air restaurant was made up of rustic wooden tables and chairs on sand floors, and hammock swings hanging from wooden beams. Photographs and art on the walls added to the Cuban theme.
The restaurant was full of boaters, tourists and locals, and we were told that the wait to eat would be an hour. Everything at El Varadera is made from scratch, and the kitchen was backed up with orders for the crowded tables. Wanting to eat some of what was coming from the great smelling kitchen, we chose to stay and wait it out.
We asked if it was possible to sit and have drinks while we waited, and were shown to a table. We chatted and waited for our food, enjoying fantastic mojitos, and great music from the band.
After enjoying some yummy guacamole and ceviche, We ordered a combination platter for the four of us to share. A huge tray arrived, full of shrimp, squid, fish, shredded beef and pork. Portions of carrots, plantains and rice were included as well, and we happily dug in. We were so busy eating, that I forgot to take a photo until we’d already ravaged the tray!
Everything was delicious, and we stuffed ourselves full. We were waited on by several of the staff, and everyone was polite and friendly. It was a great evening…Viva Cuba!
*(Elizabeth and I shared my camera. She didn’t bring hers along, and I was too busy eating and drinking to take many, so we shared the load. Thanks to her!)
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”