This post is arguably worthless – everything you’ve read on Yelp, everything you’ve been told, everything you have heard about Café Habana is tried & true: satiating deliciousness.
Do we think I’m allowed to say all of this after one brunch sitting?
A big (big, big, big) fan of Mexican food – good ol’ California roots – I’ve been craving to go here for a long time. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I really have the best, best friend in the whole world. Not only did Hils treat me to a birthday brunch here, we happily gorged on my favorite meal of the day on Valentine’s Day!*
*If you are still unfamiliar with my love for the most romantic day of the year… le sigh. You’ve had ample chances.
It’s unclear if the
grotesquely freezing temperature snow worked against us or in our favor. We showed up around 2 on a Saturday afternoon, and given the small venue, was squished up against the bar with everyone else who was waiting for a table. In our favor: it’s probably this busy all the time, but perhaps not as much as normal because it’s winter. Against us: it was too cold out, so we all had to wait inside (with coats on, grumbling tummies, savory aromas, and grumpy, impatient folk).
Being a party of three definitely worked in our favor – party of two or four plus? Everyone was a party of two… and a large table is hard to come by on a Saturday afternoon.
Once seated in a boothed area by the front window, the three of us enjoyed a perfect cup of La Colombe drip coffee (yours truly) and a pair of cafe con leche’s for my brunch dates! Please be warned that if you’re severely claustrophobic, this eatery is not for you… in which case, my deepest condolences. For the claustrophobia and potentially having to miss out on this experience. …And most places in NYC, for that matter.
It goes without saying that you cannot come here and not try the grilled Mexican corn! Each order comes with a pair of perfectly grilled corns on sticks, covered in mayonnaise, sprinkled with cotija cheese and chili powder; served with lime. This. corn. was. un.real.
Please be aware that I despise mayo with every fiber in my being. I literally refuse to eat anything if there is mayo in there – with the occasional turned cheek if I’m craving a tuna sandwich, but most of the time, I make my own (Greek yogurt and mustard is the way to go). I hate mayonnaise, and I will happily eat this corn any time and every time it is set in front of me. That being said, you can’t even really tell there’s mayo on it – I just can’t deal psychologically. Oooh and hint, use the lime.
You know that part in Ratatouille when Remy (or is it his brother?) tastes something and the background goes all black and fireworks appear? That’s what the lime does. Trust me.
In standard brunch fashion, the three of us peruse the menu and give the ‘lunch options’ a few minutes of consideration before settling on
eggs breakfast-y items.
Actually, that’s not fair. I walked in with full intention of trying out the Huevos Rancheros (GOOD MOVE, xt.), but gave the Cuban Sandwich some seconds of attention. Seconds, Cuban Sandwich, but I noticed you. Next time.
And the official order: Hils – steak & eggs; Cha – huevos con chorizo, sweet plantains; xt – huevos rancheros and hot sauce. (No, not kidding.)
[Insert silence here, while we all enjoyed our food.]
The verdict? Steak & eggs (consumed by a non red-meat eater, mind you): delicious. Huevos con chorizo: delicious. Huevos rancheros: nothing left on the plate. Sweet plantains: needed salt.
Home fries: o_____O #ohmygah
The three of us thoroughly enjoyed our experience here, even with the crass couple that sat next to us – drink your cold beer, and, it’s negative degrees out, so you should have no problem chilling out. Cannot wait to come back again – they have an option of Huevos Rancheros with steak during dinner hours (#CometoMama) !
They weren’t kidding with the ‘famous corn and Cuban’ byline. More corn! More Cuban! Have you been? Please share your thoughts!
17 Prince St, New York, NY 10012