Yesterday afternoon was spent having lunch at a restaurant at the Banos del San Juan, or the natural spring baths of San Juan in Las Terrazas. As opposed to many restaurants we ate at beforehand and since then, this establishment epitomized casual countryside dining in Cuba.
Imagine the typical barbecue setting. There was the open air environment with the chirping birds in the background. Long wooden tables occupied the restaurant, each outfitted with a checkered tablecloth. For appetizers and side dishes, we were served the typical toasted bread and butter, salad, and a potato chip’like item made from yucca. They were delicious, though needed more salt for my taste. Instead of the the usual American BBQ potato salad side dish, there as rice and beans, like the other Cuban meals.
Then the main dish arrived, the meat. There was chicken and pork and both were well cooked. However, I have noticed much Cuban food, like the meat yesterday, is simple with few spices, dips, or sauces. Overall, it was a delicious meal in a calming environment surrounded by the sound of birds and people laughing in the natural springs.