Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Havana’s Restaurant – Carolina Beach NC

Continuing with our September trip to the Carolina coast… It was our first night in Carolina Beach North Carolina and it was time to find somewhere to have dinner.  My research had turned up a couple of possibilities but one place was a bit upscale for our mood and no one felt like having Thai food.

So…we ended up winging it and just picking a place for dinner that looked good.  This is Havana’s in Carolina Beach.  It definitely has curb appeal!

Havana’s was also attractive, cozy and warm looking inside.  I don’t like booths but there aren’t any tables with chairs so we didn’t have an option.

Havana’s Restaurant has been open since 2009.  The dinner menu is fairly extensive with a nice variety of offerings for customers to choose from.  Choices range from a Redneck Cuban Sandwich ($10.50) and a Bison Burger ($12.75) on up the scale to Horseradish Tuna ($25.75) and a Super Seafood Combo with shrimp, oysters and catfish. ($26.75)

For one appetizer we ordered the Hot Crab Dip which came with these pita wedges.  It was a decent start to our meal…but we all agreed that it seemed to lack enough crab. ($11.75)

Our second appetizer was the Crispy Calamari with Thai Chili Sauce. ($9.75) The calamari was quite good and it went well with the chili sauce.

Service was a problem… Our server was less than efficient or perhaps she just wasn’t well trained.  Among other issues was the fact that the soup was served before we’d finished our appetizers and then our entrees were served before the soup was finished.    

This was Havana’s Clam Chowder, a local Chowder cook off award winner. ($5.75) Perhaps we’ve been spoiled having enjoyed clam chowder around New England as well as Tony’s Clam Chowder from Cedar Key Florida, but this version just didn’t do ‘it’ for us.  It still would have been fine though except it was lukewarm when served…

This was the Pasta Carbonara. ($18.25) It consisted of smoked bacon, fresh peas, wild mushrooms and four cheese tortellini tossed in a parmesan cream sauce.  Laurie felt that for some reason, this entrée didn’t have much flavor going for it.  The tiny sliced mushrooms didn’t add much either.

Bonnie went with this big Cobb Salad. ($12.75) She really enjoyed it, the ingredients were fresh and it was enormous as well! 

Bill’s entrée was the Lobster Seafood Bake. ($24.75) This dish consisted of lobster, scallops, shrimp and blue crab baked in lobster bisque.  It was served with sweet pea risotto and fresh sautéed spinach.  He enjoyed his meal but he thought that it was a bit pricy for what he got…

I went for BT's Chicken. ($16.75) This was a Romano cheese and Panko bread crumb encrusted chicken breast topped with a lemon butter caper sauce.  Although as plated it looked a bit lonely, the chicken was quite nice.

OK… Service wasn’t the best.  The food ranged from OK to very good.  The overall value was about average at best.  Havana’s Restaurant is better than a fuel stop but in our mind at least, it missed being really good.  After writing up this posting, I checked Trip Advisor to compare our notes with the reviews that have been posted.  There have been 232 Excellent/Very Good vs. 58 Poor or Terrible reviews…well below my normal ‘acceptable’ review ratio of 10:1.

This restaurant is located at 1 North Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach North Carolina.  Phone: 910-458-2822.  Their website can be found at:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by to see what was for dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. What a cute place, too bad it was disappointing.

  2. Not surprising for the area, sounds like you wandered into a tourist food place that knows how to turn their tables over quickly.

  3. Dear Dave, It is too bad not to really enjoy the meal. It sounds a bit disappointing at best.
    It also is really a shame when the service brings the next course before you finished the course you ordered. It does show a lack of training and consideration.
    Blessings, Catherine