Melesio’s Grill, a hearty temple to the National Mammal

No one disputes the highlights of the gourmet, but in this country where everything is subordinated to the pig in its many elaborations is worth going to Meletius ‘s Grill, where the national mammal is honored in the best possible way : by eating it …

If you are lost in the Monaco- not the Principality, but the Havana neighborhood – ask about this steak house -bar- grill terrace that many still call “the paladar of Buena Fe” , and discover this family business with a life of its own, and generous caps at reasonable prices .

Everything came from two Guantanamo peasants who happen to be pop stars, and although they have squares crowded, sing in Korean and may have the smartest lyrics of Cuban music, yet they crave for a pig cooked as God intended.

So when Israel Rojas and Yoel Martinez decided to invest in something other than music, they opted for the hospitality. They remodeled a mansion, built a bar, installed an grill at the sight of the guests, a living room decorated with sepia photos of Cuban peasants, and began to shape this new adventure…

Precisely in their song “National Mammal ” sung along Eliades Ochoa, Buena Fe enumerates the thousand and one reasons for the Cuban to worship the pig, especially roasting it in a stick, casserole or oven with their respective marinade. Traditional dish in new year’s eve, large family and hospitality meetings, to the pig we will owe also the delight of the crispy pork, uppers , rib and fried dough , steak with onions and butter , which can trigger cholesterol, but is second to none to spread over vegetables and rice and beans . Pork is undoubtedly the jewel in our popular cuisine, and that loyalty has its sanctuary in Melesio’s Grill.

Some myths surround these premises since birth , the more entrenched is that owes its name to an alleged financial contribution by Reinaldo Miravalles, the actor who bequeathed immense indispensable characters, including Melesio Capote, archetypal peasant protagonist of a song included in the ” noble extremists ” album, by Buena Fe and Frank Delgado.

Rather, it was Miravalles who wanted to know that those responsible of the “resurrected ” Melesio in the popular imagination , and a rainy March afternoon spoke at home in Vedado , accompanied by the former baseball star Javier Mendez . And surely they talked about everything except restaurants and societies.

Melesio is a symbol of Cuban farmer , ergo, traditional cuisine , and that there are to choose from in the menu of Melesio’s Grill: tamales in their leaves, the Great grilled combining chicken, pork and beef , the National Mammal dish that brings back rib steak and some heroic sucker, all accompanied by garnish and salad on the house . Incidentally, their spinach croquettes with green sauce dressing are sublime…

In less than a year, this space has become an excellent choice to anchor and end – or begin – the night: either to accompany a beer with olives or eating a sucker that came from crackling embers, if you are lost in the Monaco there is no better place to show up to than Melesio’s Grill.

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