Havana – Hole In The Wall 1

17 Mar


nfc capThe relationship between this place or rather nameless hole in the wall and me was love at first sight.

Maybe it was the blonde Italian B-767 flight attendant at the bar that attracted me first, but soon enough she was into the black bartender and I was into the mood of the place while nurturing a cigar and a Santiago 7.

It had been recommended to me last year, but I didn’t have the time.

This year I had and, what can I say, I am a regular there by now, greeted with a hand-shake and even the young local cop will hide inside the bar behind a pillar and have a drink on me.

The guys behind the counter which serves as a bar, kitchen, washing-place, garbage dump et al are all really great characters and they won’t give a shit who you are or how important you think you or your wallet are.

After all, as it says on the blackboard : Hemingway was never here …

The place is truly nameless, no signs, no names, just a hole in the wall on a street that is right now a big muddy stinking hole as the lines and tubes are being renovated in old central Havana, the street is Brasil but I’ll call it Teniente Rey forever as that is its original name.
The square it’s located goes by Christ square.
You can look at the Capitol from here, short walk.

The place has a name but that name is too hard for any foreigner to pronounce, so let’s call it The Rumourmonger, as that would be a proper translation of its Spanish/Cuban name.
No more clues, it’s on Lonely Planet already.

The blackboard and paper napkin says it serves 10 or so plates, make that three to four, huge meals, no tapa place here, big, loaded plates with either pork, chicken or shrimps. That’s it. Nothing else but beer, coffee and spirits. The meal is 4,50 cookies, homemade flan dessert is 1 cookie –  ridiculous for the quality and the freshness. Best meal deal in Havana.

And cocktails too at 2 cookies a glass.

So it’s always packed after it opens at 1 pm. Just 4 tables downstairs and a few more upstairs looking at graffitied walls and the loo, but you want to sit downstairs, not be a Kraut sock & sandals ( or a Canuck, no racist me ) and stand around outside waiting for a table – love it when it happens to some self-deluded Festival fat cat bringing his troupe over to impress them with some local knowledge and I can laugh my ass off at them from inside the hole already half wasted on Santiago with the locals.

Even my buddy Jorgito, afraid of anything old, anything narrow, dirty and black in Havana, was impressed and would relax and enjoy just like me after a good meal promising to take his wife out for a good & healthy meal.

I love the place and can’t wait to be back.

If you find it you’ll know why.

Send me the name, please.





2 Responses to “Havana – Hole In The Wall 1”

  1. Oliver 18/03/2014 at 02:18 #

    This is definetely a place where I would go with my friends to spend a whole afternoon.
    Somehow it reminds me a Champagneria in Barcelona.

  2. Arild 21/03/2014 at 23:16 #

    It must feel like finding a treasure when a hole in the wall like that appears in front of you! Loved reading your report Nino, sounds amazing!