CUBA512

Owner Iskander Gener said the rebranded restaurant’s new sign is easier to read from the street. Owner Iskander Gener said the rebranded restaurant’s new sign is easier to read from the street.[/caption]

The Cuban eatery formerly known as Guantanamera is now CUBA512. Owner Iskander “Iska” Gener said the lengthy Guantanamera name was both difficult to pronounce for some and not conducive to marketing.


“You could barely see the word from the street; now you can see it from half a mile away,” Gener said. “It’s easier and way better for the people driving by.”


A new name is just one of several changes made to the restaurant, which opened in Southwest Austin in March 2015. The updated menu features traditional dishes with a twist.


“The concept of Cuban food has changed, but I like the old Cuban food that was created before the 1960s,” he said. “Traditional Cuban food is less about the presentation and more about the taste. It’s always a full plate of food, and you have to take it home.”




The Rabo Encendido, or “tail on fire,” is a traditional Cuban dish of oxtail served with rice, black beans, carrots and potatoes. The Rabo Encendido, or “tail on fire,” is a traditional Cuban dish of oxtail served with rice, black beans, carrots and potatoes.[/caption]

New entrees include the Rabo Encendido, or “tail on fire”—oxtail marinated overnight in salt, pepper, garlic and red wine and slow-cooked in a Cuban-style dark roux; the Cuban Pork Tenderloin, which is seared in Cuban spices and served in an original white sauce; and the El Unico and Pollo al Horno sandwiches.


Since travel restrictions to Cuba were eased last spring, Gener said he has seen renewed interest in Cuban food.


“People who have been to Cuba and people who are going to Cuba are stopping by and asking questions,” he said.







CUBA512’s new Signature cocktails


Rum aficionados can try two new cocktails created by Cuban bartender and General Manager Omar Guzman, including the Ron Coco and Cuban 75. Rum aficionados can try two new cocktails created by Cuban bartender and General Manager Omar Guzman, including the Ron Coco and Cuban 75.[/caption]

Rum aficionados can try two new cocktails created by Cuban bartender and General Manager Omar Guzman.


Ron Coco: Flor de Caña Extra Seco 4 rum, shaken with coconut cream, Cointreau and lime juice, then strained over ice and garnished with a maraschino cherry.


Cuban 75: Mount Gay XO Extra Old rum, shaken with fresh lime juice and organic agave nectar, then strained in a martini glass and topped off with champagne. Garnish with a lime peel.






CUBA512
6800 West Gate Blvd., Ste. 112, Austin
512-382-1022 • www.cuba512.com
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.