The Early Word--Favela Cubana
Favela Cubana is a newly opened Cuban-Brazilian spot just south of Washington Square Park, located in the same odd little strip mall asRhong-Tiam
. "Favela" is the Brazillian Portuguese word for a shanty town, so adding "Cubana" on the end...I suppose evokes down-home Brazilian-Portuguese. The owner is Italian, but has lived in both Brazil and Cuba; he also owns Cubana Cafe (110 Thompson Street).
Main courses include arroz con pollo, lechon, Ipanema-style chicken and Bahia-style shrimp. Our waiter said that there's live music on the weekends, performed from a small stage in the back of the restaurant.
The Cubano (above) was pretty good--funky-edged lechon with ham, swiss, great pickles and sharp mustard. But at $9, it's an expensive sandwich. To be fair, it is very large, and two people could easily share it with a bowl of soup.
More food, after the jump.
Bolinho de bacalhau, Brazilian salt cod fritters ($8) were crisp and greaseless, full of good-quality shredded salt cod.
The menu said that samba ($4) (also the name of a Brazilian dance) would be a mix of corn, mango and avocado. Ours came without avocado, and the result was pretty boring, although I guess that's what we get for ordering corn out of season.
543 La Guardia Place
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