31 January 2008

The Cuban Buffet


We didn't expect the food to be great. We've all been to Cuba before. And so we weren't disappointed. The bar was already set pretty low. I think our little one ate less at the buffet than I would have expected though. And so his nutrients tended to come more from snacks, which required a little planning. In case you want to do such planning ahead of time, this is a synopsis of what we found at the buffet. Note that while the food is rarely anything to write home about, the quality does vary from hotel to hotel.

1. The Protein This is a pretty easy find. The pork and chicken can be good. There is loads of grilled fish. And sausage and bacon up to your eyeballs. Eggs 5 different ways. Sandwich meat that looks a little mysterious and hot dogs. My kid refused the former and gorged on the latter. Make sure hamburgers are cooked all the way through before giving them to you wee ones; we had a little incident.

2. The Dairy The sliced cheese and milk for some reason my little guy wouldn't go near. He is normally a dairy fiend but he refused the cheese and said the milk was too creamy. He did like the yogurt though.

3. The Fruit The pineapple it never looked ripe, the flesh looking rather pale, but half the time it tasted really good anyway. The other half it was crunchy and bland. The papaya, orange, and grapefruit were plentiful and good. The Bananas are great. But that was it in the way of fruit.

4. The Vegetables Tomatoes. Cabbage. Cucumber. Green pepper. Broccoli. These were the most plentiful. But carrots, brussels sprouts, zucchini, green beans and many others all made an appearance at one time or another. Unfortunately, except from the salad bar, the veggies tended to be overdone and quite greasy and so it was a hard sell to get the kid to eat them.

5. The Carbs Yucca and Plantain in various forms. Pasta and rice pretty average at best. Potatoes. Fries. And great baked buns and breads. This was a staple for Spud. We always packed a bun for a morning snack, along with a banana.

We were only gone a week and so there was little chance of Spud getting scurvy or some other dramatic vitamin definciency but it's nice to have a safety net of snacks, so to speak. This is particularly true if you venture away from the resort for any length of time.