Guy Takes DDD to Havana

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Guy and his Triple D crew head to the land of Mojitos, cigars and classic cars to get a taste of Cuban cuisine.

Fresh, Never Frozen

Guy and server Joan Blanco look on as Chef Alex Luco of El Figaro shells fresh lobster to make the joint’s signature Lobster in Coffee Sauce.

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Lobster in Coffee Sauce — El Figaro

As the story goes, this dish was created when Gilberto Smith Duquesne, one of the most-important chefs in Cuban history, accidentally spilled espresso in the lobster he was preparing for French President Francois Mitterrand. 

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Family Time

Guy’s wife, Lori, and his parents gave the signature El Figaro dishes a try. "I’ve never had anything like this," Penny, Guy's mom, said of the lobster. "I love coffee, I love lobster, but who ever thought of putting them together?"

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Camagueyana-Style Pork Loin — El Figaro

Named for the Camaguey province, this pork loin is made with sauteed peppers and onions in a light sauce. Guy called this simple dish absolutely "dynamite."

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Miami Beach or El Malecón?

The restaurant Nazdarovie sits on El Malecón, a scenic 5-mile stretch of highway along the coast of Havana. Guy thought it looked a little like Ocean Drive: "So easy to get those two mixed up, being that they're only, like, 90 miles away," he joked.

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Back in the USSR

Guy watches as Chef Irina Butorina of Nazdarovie mixes the dough to make Russian pelmeni, a filled pasta much like ravioli.

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Pelmeni, Russian-Style Ravioli — Nazdarovie 

Just like they’re made in Russia, these pelmeni are stuffed with meat, then topped with sour cream and fresh herbs.

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Chicken Kiev — Nazdarovie 

A log of aromatized butter is frozen, then wrapped with a breaded chicken cutlet, which is then fried. Freezing the butter keeps it from melting during the prep process.

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Fast Food, Cuban Style 

Guy watches as Chef Ugo Chigon prepares the signature stuffed plantains from Fonda Paladar la Paila, a Cuban joint known for its quick service.  

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Stuffed, Fried Plantains — Restaurante Fonda Paladar la Paila

These crunchy tostones are shaped like cups, deep-fried, then stuffed with lamb that’s been marinated in a housemade sauce. 

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Barbecue Pork Ribs — Restaurante Fonda Paladar la Paila

The sauce on these Cuban-style ribs is made with sour orange for a fresh island feel.  

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Feeling Salty 

Chef and owner Ivan Rodriguez and server Lilien Rodriguez tell Guy about the 21-day process behind salting and curing the lamb ribs for one of their dishes at Al Carbon. 

Salted and Pulled Lamb — Al Carbon

The dried lamb ribs are rehydrated before they're shredded and sauteed with onions, peppers and sour orange. “This is the best thing I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Guy says of the dish. 

Fish of the Day — Al Carbon

Everything at this restaurant is sourced locally and super-fresh, including this snapper that was caught the night before. After the whole fish is grilled, it's topped with a unique house chimichurri sauce made with balsamic vinegar.

Take Me to Church

In 2013 chef and owner Diego Hernandez turned his mother’s house into a holy house of food, La Catedral. Here, Guy helps Hernandez marinate goat meat for stew.

Goat Stew — La Catedral

The goat meat in this stew soaks for 12 hours in an aromatic red wine marinade before it is cooked. The stew is then served with malanga, a boiled root similar to yucca.

Fried Rice — La Catedral

While not a traditional Cuban dish, this Cuban take on a Chinese favorite is made with chicken, pork, shrimp, ham and eggs. 

Chicken and Cigars

Guy watches as Chef Juvenal Gonzales makes the house chicken dish at Casa Abel, a one-stop shop for dynamite Cuban food and Cuban cigars.

Beer-Can Chicken in a Rum Marinade — Casa Abel

This one-of-a-kind house dish is made with three kinds of alcohol: wine, rum and beer.

Marinated Deep-Fried Pork — Casa Abel

The pork meat in this traditional Cuban dish is cooked on low heat so it remains incredibly tender. The carnitas are served alongside fufu, a mashed plantain dish seasoned with lime. 

Want More Guy?

For more Triple D action, watch a behind the scenes video to learn about the making of an episode, or explore Italy with Guy and his crew in our photo gallery. 

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Guy's Best of New Orleans

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Browse photos of Guy's favorite New Orleans eats from Triple D.

Muffuletta — Parasol's Bar and Restaurant

Sticking with their nontraditional ways, the folks at Parasol's grill prosciutto to go on top of their muffuletta. The sandwich has also got ham, salami, Swiss cheese and olive salad. And while muffuletta is normally served cold, this version is served piping hot. 

Cajun Smoked Pork Pizza — Katie's Restaurant

This interesting creations starts out with homemade dough and the restaurant's signature dry-rubbed, smoked pork butt. It's loaded up with garlic butter, mozzarella and Provel cheeses, spinach, red onions and roasted garlic before it gets crispy in the oven. 

Oyster Sandwich — Casamento's Restaurant

The fastest shucker here can shuck about 10 oysters a minute, yet the restaurant still has trouble keeping up with demand. A portion of the nearly 3,000 oysters shucked here per day gets fried for these sandwiches, which are topped with butter, lettuce, tomato and mayo. 

Brisket — The Joint

While New Orleans isn't exactly the first place you think to go for barbecue, the locals agree this brisket is one you can't miss. With different styles — Carolina tangy, Kansas City sweet, chef's specialty — it's not hard to find something you'll like. After being covered in the rub, it's smoked in a custom smoker that's also used on the road for competitions. 

Beef Po' Boy — Parasol's Bar and Restaurant

All the locals Guy encountered at this place agreed on one thing: This is the best po' boy in the city. It's different from the rest because the beef is boiled (not roasted), topped with homemade gravy, lettuce, pickles, mayo and tomato, and then toasted after the toppings go on. 

Bagels and Lox — Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar

House-cured for ultimate freshness, the lox here are covered in salt, sugar, and black and white pepper as well as fresh dill. Along with homemade bagels, it's a breakfast specialty the locals have come to love. 

Frozen Cappuccino — The Creole Creamery

If you're in need of a little pick-me-up, why not make it ice cream? This treat starts out with milk, vanilla ice cream, simple syrup, a shot of espresso and a scoop of cafe au lait ice cream. It's all blended up and served with whipped cream and espresso beans. 

Beef Brisket — Joey K's

The dry rub for this is made with salt, pepper, paprika, granulated garlic, thyme and basil. The brisket is covered in the rub, roasted low and slow, and served simply with a bit of gravy. 

Breakfast Hash — Surrey's Cafe and Juice Bar

While they're not boiling and baking their own bagels here, they're using local sausage to make the meatiest hash around. It's got the sausage, corned beef, andouille and roasted rosemary potatoes. 

Shrimp Magazine — Joey K's

Described by patrons as a typical neighborhood restaurant, this spot has been selling local favorites for decades. This dish, named for Magazine Street — where Joey K's is located — is a mixture of shrimp, ham, artichokes, green onions and Parmesan over angel hair pasta. 

Nectar Soda — The Creole Creamery

With over 400 flavors of ice cream, there are plenty of choices here. But the locals love this classic: simple syrup, milk, vanilla ice cream, vanilla syrup, soda water and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.