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“Reliably great food in a small place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Havana Road

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Havana Road
8 West Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
410 494 8222
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Ranked #32 of 146 Restaurants in Towson
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Delivery
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Between York Road and Washington Avenue
Maryland, USA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Reliably great food in a small place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

My wife and I have been to Havana Road about a half-dozen times over the past 6 months. It's not very close to home, but we'll go out of our way for an interesting, high-quality meal. The emphasis here is interesting - each dish has interesting flavors, not overpowered with salt or other pedestrian seasonings. Instead, there are subtleties of flavor, slow-cooked, and a mixture of textures like slow-cooked pork, black beans, rice, and plantains.

We're not experts on Cuban food but we like a variety of tastes from around the world, and Havana Road gives us flavors and aromas we don't find elsewhere in the area.

The service can be slow (still courteous) when the place is busy, but that's better than an empty restaurant and why rush a good meal? We come to Havana Road to relax and savor good food. It's BYOB but convenient - there is a nice package store right next door. Not sure why another reviewer commented on clutter - it's obviously a small restaurant, but it's clean.

We'll keep coming back, and wishing it was a little closer to home.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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62 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    20
    9
    8
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great taste of Cuba”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We've been to Havana Road many times over the last year because the food is incredible. The Cuban sandwich, black beans and rice, plantains and authentic Cuban entrees keep us coming back. The restaurant is small but cozy and the wait staff isn't overly eager but it gives you time to enjoy your company and maybe a glass or two of wine while you wait.

It's BYOB, but if you purchase from the liquor store next store you can receive 10% off your purchase, just make sure you mention you are going to Havana Road. They do charge the typical corking fee, but they also sell mixes for sangria and mojitos, which are great!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Sierra Vista, Arizona
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A Mixed Bag”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I'm very conflicted on this place. I recently visited on a Saturday with my wife, 1 year old daughter, and my sister. We showed up at around 3 pm, after the lunch crowd and before the dinner crowd. Even with the time, there was a fairly good crowd in the small space. The problem with this was that there was only 1 employee working the dining room, acting as both the host and the waitstaff for the whole place. He was doing an admirable job of trying to keep up, but it's just too much to expect out of 1 person. Consequently, our drinks were never refilled, and some general cleanup was neglected (trash on the floors, etc).

So, the service was strained, but let's talk about the food. We ordered 2 appetizers. The Pan con mojo was very good, but the fries were pretty bland. There was some parsley on them, but no seasoning of any kind, even salt. I can forgive this, however, since I ordered french fries at a Cuban place. That's my bad. For entrees, we ordered the arroz con pollo, mojo pollo asado, and carne con papas. While the food was generally very good, the mojo pollo asado was dying for some salt. The bigger problem, however, is the portion to price ratio. If I'm paying $16 for chicken and rice, I expect a filling portion. Other Cuban places I've eaten generally fill the plate up. Not so here. There was a smallish scoop of arroz con pollo, a small dish of black beans, and 2 little pieces of lightly fried plantain. If not for the fact that we ordered the 2 appetizers, I would have still been very hungry after eating this plate of food. The portion of carne con papas was even more shamefully small, and more expensive. I'm willing to pay just about any price for good food, but I at least expect the meal to be filling.

So, my take on Havana Road is this: The food is good, but the portion sizes don't justify the price. I won't knock the service too hard, because the one guy in the front of the house was doing everything he could. Maybe someone called in sick that day. It's hard to judge just by one service, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. if I'm in Towson again, I might give this place another shot, but I'd really have to be in a mood for Cuban food that day.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Food and atmosphere are wonderful; however, ...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

I've been frequenting Havana Road about once a month since FEB 2012. The food has been consistently good. The service is decent, and I like the atmosphere and the background music.

However, I have noticed, especially in the past 3 to 4 months, the portions have become smaller and smaller. I know this has been a trend in many restaurants lately. At any rate, I expect to get a decent portion when I eat out, or I will not return. I had filled out one of those little "how are we doing forms" addressing the aforementioned issue, and I left it with the waitress. I included my contact information; I was never contacted.

I was there this past weekend, and I would advise the reader to avoid the Carne con Papas. It is described as a hearty dish, and the waitress described to me as a substantial stew-like comfort food. It was wonderful--as an appetizer. It certainly was not substantial meal. It was in tiny bowl on a plate which sat amongst some other elements of the meal. I was very disappointed in the serving size. Truly, it was an appetizer portion.

This happened to me 2 other times with the pulled pork dish, Lechon Assado. From FEB of this year (2012) until now, SEP (2012) the portion of this dish has decreased considerably. Again, I had addressed Havana Road in writing; however, I guess their business is doing well enough to ignore my complaints.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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New Haven, Connecticut
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“The way Cuban food should be”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

I've certainly have had Cuban food before. Had plenty of Cuban sandwiches before. This was different. It was decadent. But many of the dishes were done with a little twist. Cuban is definitely the theme, but there were some really interesting things on the menu - for instance, the "hummus" from the appetizer menu (really, bean-based dipping sauces). We had the cuban sandwich (done with really, really tender pulled-pork - which made it really, really good) and the "Cuban Cigar" which was a crab-cake sandwich, sort of in the shape of a cigar. Both were really excellent. Care is taken when making this food. A great spot!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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