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This past weekend, I’ve neglected the fact that I’m suppose to be in a bikini in 2 weeks, and just ate everything in sight.  Maybe not everything, but a lot of stuff.  This may be because Brian and I hit up a Korean bbq buffet on Saturday.  Obviously, one must curb their consumption limits at the door.

Friday night was family night- as usual.   We went to Havana Central in Union Square for some Cuban food because I know how much the boys enjoy Spanish food.  I didn’t get a picture of the outside of the restaurant because of there’s scaffolding, but it’s quite easy to find.  They’ve actually renovated the inside since the last time I’ve been there.  It looks a lot less divey and all the new pant and brighter lighting makes it look a lot newer.  I’m pleased.  We got a half booth in the back with leather seats, not the wooden bench things.  I also think it’s nice that they have the exposed brick wall- though I can’t decide what to make of the deliberately unfinished columns.  And hello- palm trees in New York!  I love palm trees.  I could sit by the ones in the Winter Garden all day long.

peoples’ heads & ceiling of havana

Of course, it doesn’t need to be said that I had to order the Cuban sandwich.  It came in a pressed hero and was humungous.  Thank goodness I got Jen to share it with me.  The sandwich came with the usual pork, ham, cheese, and pickles.  They did add mustard to the sandwich, which I wasn’t too thrilled about.  The sandwich was mediocre; I still prefer the one I had at Cubana Cafe last time.  The sandwich came with a side of sweet potato fries, which were soft and yummy.  I hate soft fries, but these were truly delicious.  If they had some cinnamon sugar on them; they would be the sweet potato fries to end all sweet potato fries. 

cuban sandwich platter cuban insides

 I’m not a big meat person, but I really like beef stew- when I’m craving it that is, and Havana has some good beef stew [carne guisada].  I would’ve liked more veggies mixed with it, but the dish was still very flavorful.  The meat was soft enough that I could break it down into bite sized pieces and didn’t have to exert too much force with my non-steak knife.  It also wasn’t fatty meat, so I didn’t have to deal with that.  Both Jen and I finished our portions of this dish.  All entrees come with the choice of yellow or white rice and red or black beans.  Guess which ones we got?  😉

carne guisada     beans
rice & beans & beef stew

Aside from the food and the decor,   the last time I was here, I discovered that the restaurant offers 3 types of hot sauces [green, red, & orange if memory serves me right].  So if spicyness is your thing- you can go try out their Cholula hot sauces.


Brian & I & some high school friends of ours decided it’d be a good idea to have some Korean BBQ– buffet style.  In theory, it’s a great idea.  Korean barbeque is one of the most expensive foods ever!  And they make you cook it yourself.  I don’t have a probably grilling my own food, but for $16 [or more] kalbi- I am not pleased.  So anyways, I trekked to Queens.  Yes.  I swear.  I took the train and all !!  TO QUEENS!  Holy moly.  I even scare myself when I say that.  I don’t have anything against Queens per-say; I’d just prefer to stick to my little Manhattan bubble.  Sorry, folks.  But I would take Queens any day over Brook-lyn [it is 2 words… right?]

Anyways, Picnic Garden on Northern Boulevard charges $20 for their buffet on weekends.  They have several meats to choose some- all with the special korean marinades, of course.  Pork, beef, chicken, gizzard, tripe, and veggies.  They even have the clear glass noodles I like so much.  They supply lettuce and rice just like a “real” korean restaurant.  There are also two soups; one was miso, which I had, and a spicy soup that I didn’t try but Brian did.  The miso soup was basic and bare; there was no tofu or seaweed.  They also had some korean style pancakes, which were bland, and california sushi rolls.  The selection of foods altogether wasn’t big, but it was okay.  Going to a realrestaurant would’ve meant better quality and more organization, but I’m not complaining.  The buffet was well worth it for $20.  However, I’m convinced that there’s got to be a better one.  Someone recommend me.  Are there any with desserts?!  All they had here were oranges.  I mean, aren’t buffets suppose to shine in the dessert department?

picnic garden
it’s prettier in the inside

Inside, there are a whole bunch of wooden booths, each equiped with its own grill station.  There are also tables for bigger groups in the back.  Here are a bunch of pics from the night. 

uncooked meats
situated in the middle of the restaurant for easy access

bbq grill
we were missing tongs

plates of bbq
messiness for four

 You know, eating like this for the next week and a half is definitely not going to bring flattering bikini results when I’m in West Palm & Miami next week. 

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