El Cochinito (Restaurant-Bar) Vedado, Havana

                     Normally I wouldn’t go to a state-run restaurant but I couldn’t resist this time. I walked or drove by this place on Calle 23 more than a dozen times during my last trip to Cuba and every time I went by the statue of the pig outside the restaurant’s door caught my eye. The pig is there because the restaurant serves mostly pork products….I’m good with that. On this particular day while walking in this area, I was looking for someplace to have a quick lunch, hence the visit here.
                    The restaurant opened it’s doors on December 25, 1965 through an initiative started by the late Celia Sanchez Manduley, Fidel Castro’s right hand man (woman) during his formative years.
                    It’s typical, lots of empty seats and no atmosphere. The service was as expected, once deciding on my meal and drink, I only saw my server one other time, to drop off my order. Nobody came by to ask how my food was or even to ask if I wanted another beer. When ordering, the server steered me towards one particular dish, Masas de Cerdo, when several of the ones I asked about were not available….I said ‘fine’, no point in arguing. The food was passable, I wasn’t expecting gourmet or anything outstanding. Now that I’ve been here, I won’t go back. The prices of the food are in MN, the national money (25 = $1). The food is inexpensive and the beer is the cheapest I’ve paid in the city. There’s an inside, air-conditioned space as well as many tables and two bars on an outside patio.
                     Would I recommend coming here?…..It wasn’t a ripoff, good value for your money but as I said, it isn’t gourmet and I generally eat Cuban food in a Cuban’s home.

El Cochinito Restaurant-Bar
Calle 23 Entre Calle H y J,
Vedado, Havana