El Gringo Viejo (The Old Gringo) is at its name suggests something of an old-timer being a mainstay of Vedado paladares for many years. This is one of those places that inspire loyalty from its clientele (mostly tourists), who will regularly head over to have a bite in this comfortable place.
It is located in the basement of a typical Havana mansion, although don’t be put off since this is not a dingy basement but more of an underground treasure trove. This is one of the few Havana eateries to have a proper booth, which is much the best table in the place. Bear in mind that this used to be often full so try and make a reservation ahead of time. We have not been for a while so we have no idea how the opening of so many new places has impacted business, we could guess negatively but difficult to tell.
Food wise, this is a classic Creole place that does a mean ropa vieja (shredded beef), as well as a variety of other dishes including smoked salmon with olives and Gouda or crabmeat in red sauce (CUC 10 to CUC 12). Quality wise, this is reasonable; it never was my favourite but is decent if not spectacular.