When the Cuban security guard at work told me I could get real Cuban food at Veradero, I was pretty excited. I immediately developed a serious craving for a Cuban sandwich. "Can you get Cuban sandwiches there?" I asked. "Nobody eats those in Cuba anymore," he shot back. Thus dejected, I set out for Veradero. The place is cute enough with years of customer grafiti decorating the walls.
The mojito, I have to say, was quite decent. The food, however, was sort of meh. Nothing was bad, but nothing was anywhere approaching remarkable. We shared a corn tamale, which came with a large piece of roast chicken and a bit of salad. The tamale, despite not being of the Tucson-style to which I am very, very partial, was pretty good. The chicken was quite moist, but also quite flabby and covered in a sweet barbecue-kind-of sauce. Definitely reheated in the microwave. We also shared an order of moros y cristianos (black beans and rice) and an order of yuca. The beans and rice were a smidge better than those at Tierra Colombiana, but I've definitely had better. I was surprised that the yuca was boiled (or steamed?) and not fried. Luckily, it wasn't boiled to death (think gluey mashed potatoes), but cooked until tender and served with a mojo of sorts. It was better than it looked (possibly because I've eaten too much gluey boiled yuca in my day), but nothing to write home about. Overall, everything tasted sort of muted. Cuban food isn't known for extreme flavors, but it shouldn't be bland and boring either. Luckily (authentic or not) there's a Cuban sandwich in my not too distant future.