A September 2004 trip
to Trinidad by fizzytom
Quote: Trinidad offers a selection of the best of everything. A beautiful beach a short drive away, museums galore, street markets selling all kinds of souvenirs, an abundance of cheap accommodations, nearby activities such as horseback riding, visiting the caves, and walking in the footsteps of Che Guevara in the mountains.
Stroll the streets of the old town, admiring the brightly painted houses with the wrought-iron bars which cover the windows.
Spend an evening dancing to a band and drinking rum with the locals on the steps leading to the Casa de la Musica. The whole town comes out for this evening ritual, and it's a great way to meet people, whether locals or fellow travellers.
On small local buses, you should be paying in Cuban pesos but may be asked to pay in convertibles - stand your ground. You are entitled to pay in Cuban pesos if you wish.
Paladar Sol y Son is an institution in Trinidad. It is much more like a "proper" restaurant than many of the Paladars which have more of a small family dining room feel about them. The first thing you'll notice is the fantastic house in which it is housed; a colonial style house of the kind which has made the city a World Heritage site. If there is not a table ready when you arrive, you can enjoy a drink in the waiting area which pretty much looks like a museum. This is the "front room" of the house and parts are roped off to keep you away from the crumbling furniture. It looks rather like a room waiting to be restored. The dining area is outside; you can sit under cover around the edges of the patio, in an attractive arbour created with trellis which has night scented flowers trailing from it or you can sit fully in the open air. Everywhere there are exotic potted plants and in the centre of the patio there is a water feature containing some colourful fish.
Next step is to order from the printed menu - another thing which sets this Paladar apart from others. Sol y Son offer quite a variety of dishes for a paladar. We started with the ceviche and shared a portion as I was feeling unwell. It was wonderful - just the right amount of lemon juice to cure the fish. My partner chose for his main course the fish dish which came with rice and plantain chips as well as a sizeable salad. Again, for a Paladar salad it was excellent with not a tinned bean in sight. I chose the spaghetti which I would not usually have done in a paladar but it was the only thing that appealed to me that day. The portion was enormous, making me feel immediately more ill than before. I managed to eat some though it wasn't great. The cheese was rubbery and formed long strings which wouldn't break off. Judging by the dishes the other diners were eating, the Cuban food is excellent and any other time I would have had that. I did manage a creme caramel which was OK, a bit "eggy" if anything.
We drank TuKola and Cuban beer. The highlight of the evening was the resident musician who we named "Spanish Davis Junior" - the resemblance was amazing. He played a number of Cuban songs but also some Beatles numbers for the English speaking diners. He was tremendous fun and really made the place come alive. Sol y Son is a real triumph - beautiful surroundings, good food and great music. Be sure to reserve a table or to arrive early - this is perhaps the most popular Paladar in Trinidad and justifiably so! At only $10 a head this is great value!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2006
Paladar Sol y Son
Simón Bolívar 283
Trinidad de Cuba
(0)41 99 6473
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom