Cuban Revolution
 Durham, North Carolina     Date of Visit  07-24-11  
   http://thecubanrevolution.com/ 

Located at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham The Cuban Revolution is right across from the Durham Athletic Park. It is very swanky inside with a very clean and modern take on 1960’s Cuba. Impressionistic paintings of Fidel and Che hang next to similar images of JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Malcolm X. the juxtaposition of eras can been seen in the televisions. There are flat screens showing Sportscenter and a long bank of older TVs that feature nonstop footage of Fidel and other personages from the actual revolution.
 



 


 
 


Bisque as Rich and Glorious as You will Find
 

The menu states that Cuban cuisine is a blend of Spanish, Moorish, African, and Caribbean cooking and the menu is just that. The campus started to fill up with a Bulls game due to be played across the street so we snuck into the restaurant to secure a table prior to our companion’s arrival. We ordered some apps so we weren’t holding down a table just drinking water. Turns out we could have waited, they got busy but never really completely filled up, even before the game.

Our starters were Croquetas as De Jamon, Stuffed Peppadew Peppers and a Stone Crab Bisque. I have seen the Peppadews used on some cooking shows but have never actually had them. I imagine the peppers are part of the African heritage of Cuban cuisine. They really are sweet with a blend of medium heat, very interesting. The peppers here are stuffed with goat cheese which mediates both the heat and sweetness of the peppers themselves. I would definitely get them again. The croquettes with ham looked a great deal like the hushpuppies that are served all over the city, but these crusty little nuggets have ham strewn throughout the corn batter. The accompanying chipotle dip added just the right creamy punch for the dish. The bisque. Oh, the bisque! It doesn’t get much richer or thicker than this almost paste-like creamy seafood concoction. Wonderfully balanced, upfront crabbiness, this is the sort of thing that would bring me back to a place again and again.

 

 
 
Hammy Croquettes
 

Peppadew Peppers
 
 

Corny, Hammy Interior
 

Goat Cheese Interior for the Peppers
 

Entrée-wise we tried the Havana Pork and the Picadillo. It surprised me that Steph ordered the pork as it was marinated in a garlic citrus mojo and came with black beans and all sorts of veggies including ones she’s not particularly fond of and some different ones like Maduros which are ripe and sweet plantains. Oddly enough she felt they were best all together. The seasoning on the pork was really nice with the citrusy garlic mix lending significant taste. Even more peculiar was her reaction to my dish.
 


Classic Black Beans

Havana Pork Dish
 

 

 

I thought at first it said peccadillo which didn’t seem like a good idea for a dish, given the definition. Then I read the description of picadillo which is apparently a Cuban staple. The description in the menu read…pork with cinnamon, tomatoes, Spanish olives, raisins and slivered almonds over white rice. It also comes with maduros and Cuban toast. Pork, cinnamon, Spanish olives AND raisins…in the same dish. I didn’t think I was going to care for it much but all three of us found it an astonishing collection of ingredients that blended into a complex but more singular taste. Olives or raisins didn’t stand out, but lent its unique profile to create this warm cinnamon combination. This dish is another representation of why this whole adventure has been so much fun. There is always something to learn, something new to taste, another peoples’ culture to be experienced. I can’t wait to try this one at home.

Our server started off pretty well but disappeared at some point and we had to ask around to find someone who could find our check. Where ever she is I hope she is okay...and finding work in another field.
 


The Astonishingly Good Picadillo
 
  Ratings  
 
Food

Service


Ambiance

What's Best

What's Worst


Overall
 
  B+ D B A N/A C+  
        New Delicious Combos      
 
All Restaurants By Ranking Restaurants By Date These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Steph's Favorite Things
Home List of Restaurants by City The Ratings What's Rated Random Thoughts