Towson has evolved into a United Nations of restaurants, so it’s no surprise that Havana Road Cuban Café (8 W. Pennsylvania Ave., 410-494-8222) decided to locate in a storefront there, serving its signature cuisine. From the moment we entered the door, we felt transported to the island country. The walls are mango-red and lime, and the furniture is a comfortable mishmash of rattan and wood. Perched on a stool at a high table with a cigar box filled with snapshots of Cuba, we relished this oasis as we munched on a Cubano sandwich with slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss, mustard, and, always, dill pickles. The ropa vieja sandwich was mouthwatering with pulled beef brisket in a thick tomato and garlic sauce. Both come with crispy plantain chips, although we recommend the yuca fries, too. Nali fruit tea—a family recipe with ginger, camomile, and orange spice, said owner Marta Ines Quintana, who fled Cuba as a child—washes it all down. And the coconut flan is as sweet as the Caribbean music floating through the room.
The owner serves up foods from her native country.
Issue date: February, 2011