Expensive, inauthentic, and bad
Posted on 06 / 12 / 2012
When in a foreign country, vegans would do as well as other tourists to judge a restaurant based on the extent of its local clientele. This is the pot calling the prospective kettle black, because it was not until halfway through my mediocre and overpriced meal that it occurred to me I was surrounded by English, French, and heavily-accented Spanish. Had I been paying attention, I may have spared myself a very bad experience.
The poor food was universal, as I tried three different unpleasant items myself and observed a mix of disappointment and obliviousness on the faces of others. Spain is generally a wonderfully inexpensive country to eat out in and Seville has an excellent vegetarian restaurant for lunch & dinner (Gaia) with enough options to suit repeat visits, and if you're in the neighborhood of La Habanita you may as well go around the corner to Huelva Ocho (with 10+ vegetarian options, many of them vegan). If you live here, you should be cooking more frequently at home with the excellent, cheap Spanish produce (even if you don't, cold dishes can be thrown together in a hotel room with a knife, a bowl, a spoon or fork, and some olive oil & salt). Besides these options, there are always a few legit tapas in every bar, though it's best if you speak enough Spanish to have a conversation about what you're ordering (in Sevilla, "espinacas con garbanzos" is just that, while "arroz" usually means seafood paella; menu-reading Spanish and/or a phrasebook won't be enough here).
For what it's worth, it should be said that the ostensibly Caribbean fare on the menu is *not* "Latin food" (as some reviewers dubbed it). This is someone who has heard of the names of certain dishes and has tried to concoct what they think they might be through a mix of internet recipes and overconfidence in their cooking skills, with no success whatsoever.
It should also be explicitly stated that this is *not* vegan-friendly. There is no less flesh on display than at the other restaurants in town, nor are there many more options for veg*ns (certainly when compared to a proper vegetarian restaurant, like Gaia, where one eats large, creative, diverse, excellent plates for less than Habanita, without people munching on [equally-ill-prepared] animals alongside you).
In the end, I'm disappointed this restaurant even exists on happy cow. It doesn't belong here. If this is vegan-friendly, so is ordering popcorn at a bullfight. Go elsewhere.
High prices, Inauthentic recipes, Bad food