Today we had lunch at a Cuban place in South Austin called Habana. One of the best things about Habana is the little cabana huts that dot the front lawn of the restaurant. If you can snag a free cabana, do it. It's fun to eat in your own private little hut. If you can ignore the traffic zooming by on South Congress, you may be able to imagine yourself dining in a tropical island paradise.
Another best thing about Habana is the drinks. "Mojitos?" asks the nice lady in the mural. Yes, please.
Summer = mojitos. Always.
And the final best thing about Habana would be the food. We started with mariquitas -- thinly sliced fried plantain chips. They are typically served with a meat-based sauce (the red sauce you see below) but you can request a vegetarian sauce and they will bring out a garlicky, citrusy, completely addictive green mojo sauce.
I ordered the Vegetariano Salteado -- "red and green bell peppers, onions, broccoli florets, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots and Cuban spices sauteed with dry wine and fresh garlic." The vegetables were highly seasoned and cooked to perfection, with some bite still left to them.
And this isn't the only vegetarian dish on Habana's menu. There's a version of the Salteado made with tofu, and there's also Quimbobo, an okra stew that I'm dying to try. I have nothing but praise for a restaurant that specializes in meat-heavy ethnic cuisine, yet makes such a lovely effort to please their vegetarian/vegan guests.