Philly Restaurant: Cuba Libre Revisted

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I did a small favor for a friend and she rewarded me with Sunday brunch at a restaurant of my choosing!  You'd think writing a food blog, I'd get to go to brunch left and right. Not true-yet. Of course, the life that I live in my head has me going to brunch at least 3 out of the 4 Sundays in a month.  But until that life is manifested in truth, I appreciate any and every opportunity to eat out period!

Yuca Fries - Crispy and creamy yuca root, a popular Cuban staple. Cilantro-caper allioli - Yuca not as close to a french fry as I would have liked - 2 Tines

First I checked Urbanspoon to see what's new and where people are talking about, which brought to my attention Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties, then I remembered, I still haven't tried Green Eggs Cafe, but eventually, I think I saw mention of it on twitter, that Cuba Libre had a tapas brunch!

Cuban Pork Fried Rice Napa cabbage kimchi, Spanish chistorras sausage and Berkshire pork belly fried rice and Maduros Fried ripened sweet plantains - I really could have been more than satisfied with just these two dishes.  I asked for a scrambled egg on top of my fried rice instead of a fried egg. Delicious! 4 Tines

It's been nearly a decade since I've been to Cuba Libre, when it first opened 15 years ago, way, way before Tinsel & Tine, and back before the depression of 2008, it was a staple choice, I dined & drank there many times. Used to live for their Mojitos.  But life changes, new restaurants become popular and so on an so forth...
Churrasco Slider- Quarter pound hand chopped skirt steak burger, tomatillo relish, smoked cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato. Toasted brioche roll - 3 Tines

I'm happy to say, a revisit to Cuba Libre was the perfect choice - the Tapas Brunch is fun!!! So much on the menu to choose from, 5 sections from which to make selections - DESAYUNO/SOPAS Y ENSALADAS/VEGETAL/CARNE/DEL MAR.

Malanga Fritters  - A traditional Cuban street food of crispy taro, garlic and West Indian culantro. Tamarindo ketchup - Something went horribly wrong here, how can anything with the name fritters be so misleading, the texture inside and out, the salt lick, too much garlic, none of it came together for me - Tarnished
We were told everything was really small, so it seemed more economical to choose the $26 per person unlimited tapas option, rather than choose 5 or 6 dishes to share. However, the tapas items are not small at all. We got full very fast off of 3 dishes each. Of course, that didn't stop me from ordering a few others and wishing I had tried a few more.

Chocolate Waffle - Chunky banana-sun dried cherry vanilla syrup - Be sure to save room for this! loved the dried cherries and some bites are more chocolaty then others which makes for a nice mouth surprise - 3.5 Tines

I've always loved the theatrical atmosphere of Cuba Libre, and back in the day, I don't every remember having poor service, but we happened to have EXCELLENT service at this brunch. Erica was attentive without being annoying, in this type of dining situation, you could have someone hovering all the time wondering if you're done with one dish and ready to order more, or in reverse, not coming back when you're looking to try the next thing. Erica seemed to come just on time. Not to mention, she's also super cute - a cross between Jennifer Garner, Eva Mendez and Natalie Portman. (I should have taken her pic).

Cuban Style Poached Egg Enchilado tomato sauce and goat cheese fondue. Pressed Cuban bread - 3 Tines and Café Cuba Libre Cuban coffee with steamed coconut milk - 3 Tines (a little too sweet)

I also had a chance to talk to the manager Donna. I asked her what, other than the tapas brunch, which started a year and a half ago, was new?  She answered...

  • Chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot was permitted a recent trip to Cuba and brought back savory new recipes and colorful photographs of the country, which now adorn the restaurant.
  • Nightlife - Every Friday and Saturday Night starting at 11:30pm the tables and chairs are rolled back to make room for dancing. The DJ has a great perch above the crowd.
  • Celebrity Visitors: Chazz Palminteri was in town recently doing a play and came in 3 nights in a row, couldn't get enough of the mango butter.  Robert De Niro's favorite dish is the Churrasco a la Cubana  Chimichurri marinated grilled skirt steak, roasted garlic boniato-potato mash, parsley, lemon and onion sauce. Watercress and mushroom escabéche salad $26.5 And some blokes named Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood aka The Rolling Stones rolled up into Cuba Libre this summer to celebrate their end of the tour party! A $37,000 celebration!

And if you're looking for something to do on New Year's Eve, Cuba Libre is having a 1920's Carnaval de Havana.

Tinsel & Tine Rating System: * Excellent - 4 Tines / * Great - 3 Tines / * Good - 2 Tines / * Fair - 1 Tine /* Poor - Tarnished

WASHINGTON DC ORLANDO ATLANTIC CITY PHILADELPHIA James Beard Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region & Best Single Subject Cookbook Chef Guillermo Pernot Nationally renowned chef and restaurateur Guillermo Pernot is responsible for maintaining the quality, taste and authenticity of Cuba Libre’s cuisine at all locations as the company expands its concept across America. His dinner, lunch and brunch menus envision what Cuba’s cuisine would be like today, if it had continued to flourish beyond the golden era of the 1950s. Pernot’s dishes are full of color, aroma and style. Pernot is credited for introducing Nuevo Latino cuisine to Philadelphia.

Cuba Libre on Foodio54

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar on Urbanspoon

Philly Film, Food & Events Blog

Post a Comment


IFC’s TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT will open in Philadelphai at the Ritz at the Bourse January 23rd. Marion Cotillard nominated for Best Actress in the film!

“A CAREER-HIGH PERFORMANCE BY OSCAR® WINNER MARION COTILLARD. After spending ‘Two Days, One Night’ in the company of Sandra, YOU’LL BE PUNCHING THE AIR WITH PRIDE.” –Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Whitney Movie on Lifetime Quick Review


Personally, I still maintain, what made the book(s) a guilty pleasure can't be captured in a movie, it's just not the type of story that will translate well on screen. That being said, I'll still be the first one there come Valentine's Day 2015! Here's Tinsel & Tine's Review of the Books - My Two Cents on Fifty Shades of Grey (Book / Movie)

T&T Pinterest Restaurant Spotlight: ROSA BLANCA

T&T Pinterest Restaurant Spotlight: ROSA BLANCA
Our quick look at a new favorite Center City spot ! CHECK IT OUT

Timely Pop Culture Take-Aways and Digi Trend Forecasts

Lauren DeLisa's Wrap Up/Look Ahead: Trends That Will Impact in under 2 minutes!


25 TO LIFE chronicles the story of William Brawner, a young man who kept his HIV positive status a secret for over twenty-five years. Now, William seeks redemption from his promiscuous past as he embarks on a new phase of life with his wife who is HIV Negative. We journey with William and his family as he struggles to carve out an open and honest future. 25 TO LIFE is supported by Sundance Institute, Cinereach, The GoodPitch, IFP, Firelight Media Lab, and Tribeca All Access and is the 2014 American Black Film Festival Grand Prize Jury winner. "25 to Life" Opens December 1, 2014 - World AIDS Day

Google Adsense

TT Highlights : GET ON UP

TT Highlights : GET ON UP
I know biopics often get a bad name, they can be cliched and predictable or the reverse, so creatively told that you lose the gist of the story and the heart of the intended subject. I tend to like them good or bad, from offerings like The Runaways (Cherie Currie & Joan Jett) which didn't quite hit the mark, to Ray (Ray Charles) and Walk The Line (Johnny Cash) that rightfully became critically acclaimed films. I'm just fascinated with the whole rise and fall aspect of telling life stories READ POST

What Did You Think Of: BELLE

What Did You Think Of: BELLE
#Belle is a beautifully shot film (on the Isle of Mann), the writing gives us many poignant thoughts and thought provoking dialogue. The romantic chemistry between Dido Belle and Mr. Davinier (Sam Reid) is what all us hopeless romantics look for in a movie. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw acts with such expression in her eyes, she's simply lovely (despite her unappealing name). I adore this movie! I also got such a delight every time someone referred to Dido as Miss Lindsay, as that's my last name, of course it makes me wonder, could I be a long, long lost relation?...READ MORE


Those that could fit in anywhere are called Divergents, they are considered dangerous because they can't be controlled and molded into one way of thinking. Those that don't fit in anywhere are called Faction-less and they live a miserable, homeless existence, but nobody's much worried about them. I'm thinking, if you choose a faction based on your own free will, wouldn't that automatically make you a Divergent?...READ MORE

What did you think of: I Origins

What did you think of:  I Origins
The movie theorizes that eyes are like snowflakes, no two are the same. So if you were to find a match in the eye scanning database (which actually exists) of someone who's already dead, then it begs the question, would that be a glitch in the system? Or has that person returned for a second life, seeing things anew through their old eyes?READ MORE

Did You See: Boyhood

Did You See: Boyhood
How I wish I could have filmed the last 12-15 years of my life, because I swear it often feels like I've done nothing, barely enjoyed myself, have made no progress, can't think of a single anecdote to tell and the small significant moments of in-significances, just don't seem to be stored in my brain. But if I could look back at even one day of each year, I'm sure I would be so much happier with who I am, what I've experienced and how far I've come...READ POST

Recent post: The Trip to Italy

Recent post: The Trip to Italy
Absolutely nothing! But somehow the juxtaposition of so much pop-culture fodder, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's semi-autobiographical characters set against travel porn, makes The Trip to Italy a randomly amusing and thoroughly breathtaking flick.READ MORE


I'm sure every decade has a movie that you love because you're balling your eyes out; however, I truly think Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in #TFIOS could be what Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were to Love Story for audiences in 1970.READ MORE

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap

Philly Event Coverage: Cake Competition Recap
If you read this blog frequently, you know I mention cake quite a lot. I'm a self-confessed cake-aholic, but I'm also a cake snob. I don't want just anything with icing on it, and in fact, it is crucial that the icing not be too sweet, too thick and preferably only on top. It's difficult to put into words what constitutes good cake, it's like describing a sunset or an orgasm, you just know it when you're in the moment of it...READ MORE

Think Like A Man Too Philly Interview: Meagan Good & Michael Ealy

Think Like A Man Too Philly Interview: Meagan Good & Michael Ealy
Got a chance to not only be among the media photogs at the "Think Like A Man Too" red carpet, but I also got to interview Meagan Good and Michael Ealy SEE POST

Zach Braff's: Wish I Was Here

Zach Braff's: Wish I Was Here
When a filmmaker is prolific, like a Steven Soderbergh before his "retirement", we tend to allow each movie to stand on its own merit; but when the filmmaker does one movie and then waits 10 years to do another, it's impossible not to compare it to the first offering. Thus, I suppose Wish I Was Here was going to have to be truly, truly brilliant to keep people from saying - it's no Garden State. T &T's LAMB Score: 3 outta 5 READ FULL POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tinsel & Tine was nominated for a VBA



group of 10,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments

Women Online

The Blogstress Network

The Blogstress Network
Female Bloggers Unite

Contributor from 2010 - 2012

Listed on

Movie & Film Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Add website

About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

Share it

Camera Tips


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP