Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Little Bit Of Cuba Has Come To Fitzroy!

Cuba is still one of my favourite travel places over the years, and so hearing that a new bar with a Cuban theme was opening in Melbourne was met with gleeful excitement! Los Barbudos opened last week along Smith Street, and is sure to become a favourite haunt of mine on that side of town.

Los Barbudos means the 'bearded ones', as an ode to the baseball team with many beards put together by Castro just after he and his guerrilla army took power. Photos of Cuban men with impressive beards, in baseball uniform, adorn one of the walls of the long rectangular bar.

The theme brings Mojitos, Cuba Libres and frozen Daiquiris to the bar, as well as a fully stocked spirits shelf. These tastes of the Caribbean island with revolutionary history and spark took me right back to some fun rum filled memories.

The food was a standout, and will soon be available from a permanent food truck out in the back room, which adjoins next door's Mr Wow's Emporium.

Empanadas, filled with braised lamb and drizzled with goat's cheese creama, were delicious morsels. The Caribbean Spiced Chicken Wings were a sensation, and the Cuban rice was the perfect regional compliment. With smoked black beans and fried plantain, the Tostones con Frijoles had a spicy punch - all far from the rather bland food we actually experienced in Cuba!

As the room filled with a crowd, there was a three piece band that added to the Cuban swing feel - and transported me back to Havana for a little bit!

*I attended the Media Opening of Los Barbudos as a plus one, but the gushing recollections and trip down Cuban memory lane are all mine!

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