La Pequeña Habana serves Ropa Vieja

"Broken clothes" as a national dish

Most connoisseurs associate rum and cigars with Cuba. But the cuisine on the Caribbean island can also be tasted: Iris and Eric Garofalo also serve Cuban braised meat in the La Pequeña Habana restaurant.

Detail of a ceiling lamp in the Cuban restaurant La Pequeña Habana in Berlin (Photo: DW / L. Ganssmann)

Little Havana in Berlin

Many regular guests will find their little piece of Cuba at La Pequeña Habana. For many Cubans living abroad, it is important to have a piece of home in the new city, and that’s why they come here. But the restaurant also surprises new guests with its seasonal fish dishes and specialties. There may be some Cuban bars in Berlin – La Pequeña Habana is unique.

 Iris and Eric Garofalo in the kitchen of their Berlin restaurant La Pequeña Habana (Photo: DW / L. Ganssmann)

Vacation flirt with Cubans – with a difference

Iris Garofalo grew up in a small town in Cuba. In 1999 she came to Berlin at the invitation of her uncle and stayed. Eric Garofalo is born in the same place as Iris. They live only 50 meters apart but never meet. He studies agriculture and goes to Italy. There he met his future wife Iris, who was on vacation in Italy. In 2008 they moved together in Berlin.

A set table in the Cuban restaurant La Pequeña Habana in Berlin (Photo: DW / L. Ganssmann)

Authentic ambiance

“I am very passionate about work. I have always enjoyed cooking and have been able to gain experience in many kitchens. After careful consideration, I decided to present my culture by cooking for the German audience.” -Eric Garofalo

The bar of the Cuban restaurant La Pequeña Habana in Berlin (photo: DW / L. Ganssmann)

Gastronomic independence

“Gastronomy has always been interesting to me. In Cuba, there is no such thing that people can start their own business. And although I learned something else, I was always interested in it. When I was very young, it was my favorite place in the kitchen, there I was with my grandma. She always loved to cook for a lot of people and I was always there. ” – Iris Garofalo

Ropa vieja, cooked Havana-style beef, from the Cuban restaurant La Pequeña Habana in Berlin (Photo: DW / L. Ganssmann)

“Broken clothes” as a national dish

After cooking, the beef is pulled apart and looks a bit like torn rags. This is probably how the name of the dish came about. Ropa Vieja means “old clothes”. The origin of the recipe is not proven. Some say that the original recipe comes from the Canary Islands or mainland Spain.

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