By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – In Pinar del Rio city, there are plenty of private restaurants and other places to eat, just like there are in every other Cuban city I guess. I also imagine that, just like in my city, prices of meals aren’t in keeping with your average Cuban’s purchasing power.
However, there are some places where you can have a pleasant time, and where, in spite of taking a hit to your wallet, prices are quite affordable in comparison with everything else.
Such is the case with La Terrazina Pizzeria, on Antonio Rubio street, popularly known as Yagruma.
The surprising thing about this place is that despite being run by a state company, it really is a welcoming place. The facade out front is attractive and once you’re inside, you feel cozy. The restaurant has a wide range of options on the menu for customers.
Good quality individual pizzas: margheritas $5.00 CUP, ham $7.00 CUP, chorizo $6.25 CUP, fish $6.25 CUP, etc; different kinds of spaghetti for $5.00 CUP, all well-made (a friend of mine just happens to be a chef here); cans of soda or pina colada for $10.00 CUP, cheeses, desserts and juices at different prices (1 USD = 20 CUP).
It also stands out for its friendly customer service, as well as for its more affordable prices for average Cuban wallets, as I’ve already mentioned.
I was also struck by the fact that you don’t get scammed with change or them just not giving it back to you, as if the tip were compulsory, like they do in other places.
I remember my honeymoon years ago at the Los Jazmines tourist Hotel in Vinales, where restaurant waiters did this without any reserve, just like they do at the hotel here in Pinar del Rio. The only hotels I’ve had the opportunity to stay at.
My wife and I had lunch at La Terrazina last week, we go there every once in a while. I’ve always seen it very busy. I really can’t find anything bad to say about this pizzeria, maybe not being noticed and it makes me smile.
It is decorated with Chinese ornaments, as you can see in the photos, which isn’t at all in keeping with a restaurant serving Italian food, and whose name must come from a region in Italy. Maybe they were originally going to set up a Chinese restaurant there, but I’m pretty sure it was just a clumsy lack of style. Nevertheless, this detail doesn’t detract from everything that’s good about this place.
And, do you want to know something? Preparing this post, I googled it and according to TripAdvisor, the famous website that tells you about tourist trips and destinations, La Terrazina appears as one of the best restaurants in my province.