Restaurant: Alma de Cuba

Address:  1623 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Food:  Cuban

Price:  Above Average

Portions:  Decent

Taste:  Pretty Amazing

Service:  Freaking Amazing

Atmosphere:  Needs Work

So my brother and his girlfriend gave me a gift certificate to Steven Starr restaurants for my 50th birthday and since the Missus is out, I figure why not treat them.  We opted for the Cuban place to keep everyone happy, as my brother isn’t much of a fan of Asian food and the other places were too busy.

Two things kept the meal from being awesome: 1) a loud fucking table of women next to us.  (Obnoxious ladies.  Shut the fuck up when other people are eating, ladies!) and 2) it was just too dark.  Now I know restaurants try to create an ambiance, but a place like this, with high end food—  The food is the star of the show.  But you can’t see the star if it’s too dark.  And while I don’t mind using my phone to light up the menu, it’s kinda hard to eat and light up my food with the phone.

Food wise, it was pretty amazing.  Bread with spicy dipping sauce.  The ceviche samples were running late, so the chef brought us an extra course of crab tacos on the house.  Nice move.  The ceviche was unbelievable and included extra portions on the house.  Tuna, fluke, oysters—  Basically, I got my sushi, only with lots more citrus.  My entree was this pork dish.  Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and orange-y rice to go with.  I really wanted to see it, but alas, the darkness!

Our waitress crushed the service, bringing us extra drinks and keeping us happy.  We didn’t even notice the lateness of the food and were surprised by the chef’s generosity.  Would totally go again, but would have to insist on better lighting.  Seriously, it was dark!

I give Alma de Cuba 8.5 out of 10 keggers.