Show 149, December 5, 2015: Dining in Cuba, Tori Klein, Director UNLV Foundation Events

Tori KleinWhat’s the dining out scene like in Old Havana and Cuba? Do locals eat in restaurants? Our next guest, Tori Klein, the Director of University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) Foundation Events was just there. We’ll get an informed perspective from someone who really knows the restaurant business. It’s, unfortunately, a lot more primitive in Cuba than you know.

Locals (average salary of $10 per month) simply can’t afford to eat in the Government-owned establishments unless they have access to tourists and their American dollars. Privately owned restaurants need to buy their supplies on the black market due to chronic shortages. Beef is not even available to ordinary Cuban citizens.

The government-owned restaurants in Old Havana don’t necessarily showcase Cuban food. Tori mentions that the most memorable of these establishments cooked quite exceptional pizza in a wood-fired oven. Not exactly Cuban fare.

The most interesting restaurants are the under-the-radar, paladars. These are privately-run, entrepreneurial enterprises operated in former residences. Tori looks forward to returning and exploring more of these