Friday, June 12, 2009

Restaurant Review: Buena Vista Social Cafe

So last night I went with a few colleagues to Buena Vista which is somewhere between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. As usual it was great. The decor is really cool - very authentic and atmospheric. Old pics of grannies smoking cigars, random candles burning black marks on the walls, mismatched pics and frames and odds and ends. Considering this is a franchise they have done really well to make it seem unique.

The food is what you'd expect from a cuban restaurant. Burritos, nachos, mojitos and a bunch of other "o's". But that's not what makes me loyal to the place. It's the personal touch that does it.

I have been to BVSC probably about 10 times or more since it opened - it's great for sundowners in Summer with the south american music blaring forth and also The Band and I developed a bit of a nachos obsession at some point so we were there a lot trying to satisfy that one :)

Anyway, last night I was there with colleagues. It was a great evening with the girls(though I was peering enviously at their mojitos while sipping on my somewhat dismal G&T minus the G!).

At the start of the meal I asked about the ice cream and chocolate sauce: is it hot chocolate sauce, or mere chocolate sauce? (Hey, there is nothing wrong with forward planning!) The waiter said it was mere chocolate sauce but he's fairly sure they could make a plan to upgrade it to hot chocolate sauce. Good man. I assured him that he need not be shy with the chocolate. Naturally throughout this exchange my friends gave the affectionate head tilt (to the left) and murmured "she's pregnant after all" in those soothing tones people usually use on the certifiably insane. I just smiled knowingly. I would ask such a question knocked up or not. It's elementary!

Anyway, when it came to it, a friend and I shared the Ice Cream and HOT Chocolate Sauce. It came with a fresh cherry on top. yuck. I offered it to the table but my friend stopped me: "Hey! Don't take my cherry!" To which we all cackled gleefully!

At this point the chef himself came out with a second jug of the good stuff - HOT chocolate sauce - and said "I believe someone here is eating for two?" Bless that good man.

I was just starting to tell the girls that this was the first time I'd come to Buena Vista without being given a free drink. I was midway through the story when the manager, Nick Slaughter, arrived with a tray of shooters... cherry liqueur and something else with a cherry on top for each of us. "Now you can all have your own cherries back" he said with a wicked smile.


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