50 Aborn Street, Providence, NC | Directions 0290335.719977 -78.570827
Sun-Thu 11am-1am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am
Neighborhoods: Downtown Providence
Grat place to hang out in Providence – What a find in little old Providence. As a RISD student, this restaurant is an absolute must in my book. There's a lot of average ware in what is called downcity in the old Providence downtown and arts and theater district... but Cuban Revolution is the real thing. Funky, hip with great works by local artists (check out the murals and the stainless steel bartop) and the best sandwiches and wraps in town. Also a cool place to bring the parents when they come to town with the credit cards (they will like the retro references on the menu) and the music.
Does NOT Live Up to the Hype! – I ordered “The Fidel” off their menu which is essentially a Cuban sandwich served with a side of black beans and rice. This is the absolute basics of Cuban food in my book. It is a simple pressed sandwich which contains roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread. The first “sin” in incorrectly making a Cuban sandwich is to include deli meat. When my Cuban friend first introduced me to the sandwich, he told me that if I ever went somewhere that used deli/lunch meat, I wasn’t getting the real thing. This proved to quickly be strike one for the restaurant. Although their menu advertises “roast pork, I could see as soon as it was brought to me that they had used deli-style meat. I then noticed that they had used cheddar cheese on the sandwich instead of the swiss cheese shown on the menu. I could live with this as I have had good quality sandwiches made with deli meats. So, I dipped the sandwich in the side of mojo and took the first bite. The sandwich tasted as if it had been bathed in mustard rather than lightly coated. It tasted more like a mustard sandwich than a sandwich with mustard. In addition, the cheese had that taste of cheddar cheese that had been left to sit on the counter and gotten that gritty taste to it. I did finish the sandwich, but more out of hunger than enjoyment. The black beans and rice were good, but how hard is it to mess that up?
I ended the meal with a Cuban coffee. I noticed the waitress put something in the cup before pouring the coffee (which wasn’t freshly brewed). I didn’t ask what she put in, but the coffee was decent. The only problem was that it wasn’t a traditional Café Cubano.
Good food right downtown – After an afternoon at the RISD Museum, we found our way to The Cuba Revolution. It was a slow Sunday afternoon with only 4 other customers, but what a treat to find good Cuban food all the way in New England! We stuck with the basics, an order of croquettas, guacamole, split a Cuban, a couple of Cuba Libres, and some Cuban Coffee to end with. Very good Cuban sandwiches and guacamole. Very smooth and creamy and neither one of us could put a finger on the mystery herb/spice.
However, the Cuban Coffee was unlike any other I've had. It was espresso with hazelnut syrup, not traditional whatsoever, which is either plain or with simple sugar. Too much flavor in it to really taste the coffee bean.
The service was quick--as it should have been with only 2 other tables. The croquettas were good, but nothing special. Cuban restaurants are few and far between, so its hard to compare...there's Gordo's in Tallahassee, The Columbia, and a tiny local favorite in Key West....but I would have to say this one is my 4th favorite, but with 2nd place Cuban Sandwich and #1 restaurant guacamole.
Fantatic – im from new york and this is the only place me and my friends can relate to in prov. great vibe and food. the artwork in the downtown location is stunning. our server was great and free internet
Ugly – From all the write ups I have seen my first time to Cuban revolution was sure to be a good experience . What I would like to know is who is writing these reviews in the papers? We waited at the door for a good 20 mins while the hostess and her husband fought in the back of the restaurant. The staff was busy and I have no problem waiting for a table. I was a little creeped out at first when this man who was inspecting the front of the building came in. For reasons unknown he seemed very upset and the entire staff was effected by his presence. We later found out this man was the owner. So here we are waiting by the host stand while the owner picks an argument with his wife (host) in the corner of the restaurant by the bathrooms. It wasn?t to hard to hear and see what they were arguing about,. Watching this scene play out was so uncomfortable (we are still waiting for a table). The way this women was publicly being embarrassed was humiliating. She stood there in a full restaurant with her head down taking a verbal beating. Unfortunately we were finally sat in the back of the restaurant, front row seats to the never ending argument. While we tried to ignore the scene we ordered some tapas. Our waiter addressed the owner/couples argument as it was a usual scene to him. When the food finally came it was horrible, under flavored and over salted. We left hungry. I would never go back there again. It was the worst experience I have ever had in a restaurant. Ugh I still feel awkward thinking about watching the way that women was treated.
Absolutely Awful – Over-hyped, under performed. This place is terrible. So much build up and nothing to back it up. Like the other reviewers said before me; TERRIBLE service and reheated food from cans bought at Shaw's. The rice and beans are a joke, the previous reviewer was right; Bad rice and canned beans. This is bachelor food. My veggie sandwich had Kraft shredded, processed cheese and iceberg lettuce. The plantains were too salty. The service was horrible. I tipped 10%, which I NEVER do. Don't waste you time or money. Find another joint that's authentic, like Mama Teresa's.
a very fun & hip place – My boyfriend and i eat here alot. We love it! I would recommend ANY of the sandwiches, the steak chimichurri, or the fried green beans. While you wait, try the chips and black bean dip, it's the best dip i have ever tried. For drinks, TRY THE MOJITOS!! Overall it's a nice place to hang out with some friends.
Appalling service – My friends and I had some of the worst service we have--any of us--ever experienced when we sat down at the bar this past Saturday afternoon (July 12, 2008). The so-called bartender was curt with us at first and then repeatedly rude to the point where none of us could believe how he was speaking to us. My compliment on how good our drinks were was met with a stony silence. After this interaction, he mercifully disappeared. His disappearance meant that we didn't have to speak with him again. The rest of the staff seemed embarrassed by his behavior and were put in the awkward position of having to make drinks for several customers in his absence.
I should note that the three of us, upon entering the restaurant, were in great spirits. We were meeting after not having seen each other for a few months and were ready to catch up and have great time. Our mood quickly changed. We asked for water twice and it was brought to one of the three people in our party (the man, incidentally). We had to ask for the chips and dip that are normally given to guests when they arrive, a request that was met with a sardonic and nastily-delivered "I'll get right on that."
We had to refill our own water glasses from the pitchers at the end of the bar. When the food came, it was tasty, but the food is only one part of a dining experience. I hope the disappearing, nasty bartender, who (based on the havoc his absence seemed to wreck on the remaining staff) was also the manager (!), has been fired. He certainly should not be interacting with the public.
What a waste of a good kitchen and an excellent locale.
Biggest fraud in Providence! – After hearing for years about the Cuban Revolution, I went there with three friends to the new location on Aborn. The menu was cluttered but one of a kind. The service was okay. The dining experience was the worse I have ever had. The veggie burgers were straight out of the freezer section of Shaws, served plain on square bread. The bean salsa tasted like baked beans. The plantain wrap was boring with no flavor. The pork with beans and rice was embarrassingly disgusting. The first time I have ever sent a meal back in a restaurant. I mean, minute rice, spooned over with canned beans, no sauce no flavor, no spices. Shredded pork [?] which resembled phyllo dough and tasted like nothing. I mean, a 'cuban' restaurant that cant even do beans and rice? I would rather spend 5 bucks at Pitos on Broad Street. The side salad was a rough chop of iceburg, tomatoes and white onions served in a soup cup. What? I dont get the hype. Horrible.
Mixed review – We just came back from eating at the cuban revolution. The pros were that the decor is quite nice and they have outdoor seating. They have a large bar with nice tv's. The food is a different story...
When we first arrived, I realized this was not an authentic place because Frank Sinatra and Bob Marley were being played in the back ground. As we sat down, our server brought chips and dip. Then when I opened a menu I saw they served burritos. Seving chips and burritos at a Cuban restaurant is akin to serving lasagna at a french restaurant.
The rice and beans are horrid. If you go, do not order them as they have absolutely zero taste. I am certain they just opened a can of goya beans and dumped it on a bed of minute rice.
My main dish of ropa vieja was quite good once I added hot sauce to it. My girlfriend ordered an empanada which she says was very good.
We skipped dessert, but I decided to get a cuban coffee since I am an avid espresso drinker. This was without a doubt THE WORST espresso I have ever had. It was served at room temperature, and had so much sugar in it I thought I was drinking a melted rock candy.
With that said, I will give the place another try. We didnt try their famous cuban sandwhich or the signature drink (the mojito). I also wanted to try the tostones and maduros but that will have to happen next time.
It is the only cuban place around providence so if you crave cuban food then this is the place for you. Just save your self $5.50 for the rice and beans and $3.50 for a gross cuban coffee.
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