For our second night in Aruba we decided to try the most ethnic restaurant on the island, Cuba’s Cookin’. Although the restaurant was appropriately decorated and even provided lively Spanish singers, the food proved to be anything BUT authentic.
Highly recommended by multiple friends, our family had been very eager to try out this so-called delicious and entertaining local spot which has now been in existence for 9 years. We figured they must have done something right!
Upon our arrival we were served a complimentary round of mojitos and two bowls of fried plantain chips accompanied by a trio of salsas. I’d never seen or tasted salas quite like Cuba’s Cookin’. Since I love to mix my foods, my favorite of the three was the combination of the homemade honey mustard and spicy salsas. None of the three were traditional salsas, but a nice change from what I had become accustomed to.
We then quickly devoured another trio, though this time of empanadas. We were served three small fried dumplings of fish, chicken, and savory beef. The beef was by far the best of the trio, and probably Cuba’s Cookin’s best dish, or part of a dish.
Our group’s order of main courses spanned the gamut from pork ribs to shrimp enchiladas. Though in my heart I wanted to try the Ropa Vieja I just couldn’t envision myself eating MORE steak. I know, I know, for most people this wouldn’t be a problem but I wanted to experience a variety of Aruban Cuisine this week. And lucky for me I didn’t order the Ropa Vieja. To our disappointment it was extremely dry, though quite flavorful. Luckily it was served with sweet fried plantains, rice, and black beans which were all terrific with the exception of the dry white rice. The sweet fried plantains were served with all of our meals and were also the highlight of each and every dish. Below you will find some photos of our satisfactory meals.
Filet with Mushrooms Shrimp Enchiladas
BBQ Pork Ribs Ropa Vieja
Pollo Pastor Pollo
But despite Cuba’s literal Cookin’, the restaurant really caters to their crowd. Sensing our inner party animal, they cleared the tables of the near empty restaurant and encouraged us to sing and dance along with the singers. Musical instruments in hand we sang danced the night away with no cares in the world.
Wilhelminastraat 27, Oranjestad