South Florida Dining Scene source, Sun Sentinel

Source: www.southflorida.com

Havana 1957

14571 SW Fifth St., Pembroke Pines, 754-210-3499, Havana1957.com

This Cuban mini chain, founded in 2010, has expanded into Broward County at The Shops at Pembroke Gardens from its three Miami locations.

The former Stir Crazy could pass for a Hollywood movie set with walls that alternate between stone and a rustic green finish with red accents including tufted banquettes. Sit at one of the red-and-silver diner stools at the bar where 120 different kinds of rum, mojitos ($10.95-$11.95) and Cuban libres ($9.95-$13) are served, as well as snacks ($4.95), such as mini pan con bistec.

“Havana’s biggest legends and famous prints decorate the restaurant from ceiling to floor,” says the restaurant’s Maribel Garcia. “It sets itself apart by creating a unique dining experience that allows you to relive the glory and glamour of old Cuba during the 1950s. Each of our four restaurants combines the flavors of authentic Cuban cuisine, classic Cuban music and vintage memorabilia, bringing Cuban nostalgia to each neighborhood.”

The house specialty is Pollo Havana 1957, traditional roasted chicken with gravy, rice, black beans, salad and sweet plantains ($13.50). Other highlights are tostones rellenos — green plantains stuffed with beef or shrimp ($8-$9.95), vaca frita — grilled shredded beef with onions in Cuban mojo ($12.50) and guava cheesecake made with guava shells ($6.95). “The Skinny Cuban” menu section promises dishes with less than 500 calories.

Lunch and dinner are served daily, plus weekend breakfast. The Rum & Coffee Band performs classic Cuban music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.