OCHO : HAVANA HOTEL
If you think that the Havana hotel is a brand new spot (like I did) you’re wrong, the hotel's doors originally opened in 1914, and has gone through a few owners since then. But I have to say that what Liz Lambert and Bunkhouse Management has done with it since 2010 has been amazing!
They have maintained the hotel’s original charm but they gave it that extra chic boost we all love, although I have not stayed at the hotel itself, I have fallen in love with the place and the feeling you get once you walk in to Ocho (restaurant)
As I went through the main gates I could feel that 1920’s Cuban tropical glamour I have only seen in movies taking over. To get to Ocho you turn left and follow the slim cobblestone path surrounded by palm trees and flowers. Which just makes the scene that more beautiful. As I came to the door of the restaurant I got a glimpse of the glass structure reminding me of a greenhouse. Once inside it is all so retro-chic, the tables, chairs, couches even the bar is as if you are no longer in Texas (felt I needed a tea dress and that Patrick Swayze could pop out any moment)
Now on to the food… even though I would have loved to try everything on the menu, well its just not possible (I’ll just have to keep going back) but what I did have was so good – chicken tinga torta, chorizo and cheese starter, and churros and tea for dessert- the only thing I have to say is beware of portions! At first my boyfriend and I both ordered a torta (one for each) plus the chorizo starter, well when the food got there, our waitress forgot to put in that second torta order in (COULD NOT HAVE BEEEN MORE GREATFUL) starter plates could just as well be a main dish and sandwiches come with chips or fries (must have) so when it was time for dessert we were both ready to order two desserts, but we remembered our main dishes, so instead asked about the portions for dessert, our waitress told us that one for both of us was more than enough (she was right we couldn't finish our churros)
Just a tip as you walk in, Ocho is a long corridor and there is no hostess or anything at the door, so if you’ve never been there you do feel a bit lost on where to sit especially because the place it self is not very big, if you walk over to the bar that’s where they let you know “sit wherever you want." Not a fan of this system (anywhere) cause if the place is packed you feel the pressure to finish quickly because people are roaming around trying to find a place to sit, but then again its not a big deal.
For me Ocho at Havana Hotel is a must! Believe me I love Texas life but we all love to get away and sometimes weekends are not long enough to do so. But having lunch here I really felt that I was no longer in San Antonio, even though the restaurant over looks the River walk, it has that magic it factor that many restaurants strive to get! And right next door you have the Tobin Center for Performing Arts, so after lunch or breakfast you can take a walk around the area and just enjoy the scenery (especially now that the weather is so nice)