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Our restaurant has been nominated as one of the top five new restaurants in Maryland by the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

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Havana Road Cuban Cafe wins Baltimore's Best

Sandwich: Cubano, Havana Road Cuban Café

At Havana Road Cuban Café, owner/chef Marta Ines Quintana has turned a suburban storefront into a tiny, tropical oasis with lively music, photos of her home country, and wonderful renditions of her native food. While we are always happy with the arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) and ropa vieja (braised brisket), we return for the Cubano sandwich ($9): Chunks of slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss, mustard, and pickles are pressed on crunchy bread. Traditional mojo (a citrus, olive-oil-based sauce) is served on the side with fried plantain chips. Delicioso! 8 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, 410-494-8222.

 

Cocina Cubana Baltimore Magazine

Baltimore Magazine recognizes Havana Road Fresk Pak

Before Marta Ines Quintana opened Havana Road Cuban Café (8 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson 410-494-8222), she had a line of products in stores offering a taste of her native land—from savory mojo to sweet dulce crema. Now, she’s taken another step in sharing her authentic cuisine. She recently introduced refrigerated packaged meals to area Whole Foods Markets. Of the nine microwavable dinners available, including vegetarian options, we sampled two and were pleased with the results. The ropa vieja features shreds of melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket simmered in Cuban salsa accompanied by black beans, rice, and tender baked plantains. The chicken & rice has fat chunks of white meat in sofrito (a traditional herb-olive-oil mixture) with yellow rice and plantains. (Each is $7.99.) Seduced by the intriguing flavors, we are persuaded by Quintana’s comments on the box: “Havana Road Artisanal Foods are made with love, and all from the heart.”

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Chef Marta Quintana mentioned in Baltimore Business...

Marta Ines Quintana, Founder, Havana Road Cuban Cafe and Artisanal Products

After a taste of Marta Ines Quintana’s cuisine, you would swear she’s been serving up dishes in upscale restaurants for decades. The Cuban-born Quintana — founder of Havana Road Cuban Cafe and Artisanal Products — has seen her recipes garner raves from grocery stores, TV shows, publishers, and customers at her Towson restaurant. But it was just three years ago that Quintana made a jump to running a culinary enterprise with revenue nearing $1 million in 2011 and on pace to exceed that in 2012.

Like many others, Quintana, 55, was hit hard by the recession in 2008. She was laid off as vice president of sales and marketing at Columbia’s Premium Health Services, a pharmaceutical distributor. She hunted around, but marketing jobs were hard to come by. After a frustrating, infuriating and fruitless job search, Quintana decided to return to her first love: food.

Her resume in the cooking field began and ended with catering her own wedding for 75 people in 1985. Regardless, she was certain she was making the right move. In early 2009 Quintana and her daughter, Ines Maria, made a series of cooking videos to post on YouTube.

“Back then I really wasn’t much into the whole YouTube scene,” Quintana said. But, “From there I received a phone call from Steven Schupak at [Maryland Public Television] and he said, ‘You’re a diamond in the rough.’ ”

Three years after that initial call, Quintana got a letter of intent from MPT for a bilingual cooking show, which is still in development.

Another break came when Quintana attended a dinner party in August 2009, where she met a representative from supermarket chain Whole Foods. He said if she could prepare five varieties of her sauces for him, that he would help her get a retail line into Whole Foods. She did, and her Havana Road Artisanal Foods line of salsas and condiments hit the shelves of Maryland Whole Foods stores in November 2009.

After visiting a few stores, Quintana noticed the kitchen staffs at Whole Foods were buying her sauces to prepare store items. She then thought, “Forget the retail, I’m going to wholesale the line.”

Expanding her business to wholesale was more lucrative and less labor-intensive for Quintana, so she secured a private loan for a commercial kitchen in Towson. With the added real estate, Quintana started thinking of different revenue streams and decided to open a restaurant.

Quintana opened Havana Road Cuban Cafe on Sept. 30, 2010. In the cafe’s first year, the Restaurant Association of Maryland named it a “Top Five New Restaurant in Maryland 2011.” The restaurant also received a “Best of Baltimore” award from Baltimore Magazine for its Cuban sandwich.

Above and beyond her impending MPT show, Quintana normally makes one TV appearance a week in cooking segments on local news stations in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. She also has a cookbook in the works. “I’m a multitasker. You have to be if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, and you have to be a risk-taker, which I am,” she said.

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Baltimore Business Journal Honors Entrepreneur Chef Marta Quintana

Towson chef expanding Cuban food line to Balducci’s, Harris Teeter

Havana Road expands Fresh Pack Line to 2 New Market Chains!

 

A Towson chef is expanding her line of Cuban products into 45 additional grocery stores across the mid-Atlantic.

Marta Ines Quintana, owner of Havana Road Cuban Cafe and Artisanal Products, began selling her “fresh paks” in June at three Balducci’s in the Washington, D.C., region and 30 Kings Supermarkets in New Jersey. The 16-ounce precooked meals first hit grocery shelves in January at 20 Whole Foods Market locations in the mid-Atlantic.

Quintana expects the expansion to continue, adding that she has an agreement to begin selling her products at 12 Harris Teeter locations ithis September.

The line of meals sell between $8-$10 and come in nine varieties like Cuban pork and Cuban black beans and rice. All the meals are gluten free.

The expansion into grocery stores is the latest culinary endeavor for Cuban-born Quintana, who also sells a line of salsas and condiments and runs a restaurant. Her restaurant, Havana Road Cuban Cafe in Towson, opened in October 2010 and was named one of the “Top-Five New Restaurants in Maryland 2011” by the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

Quintana said she is working on a cookbook and has also received a letter of intent for a cooking television show. She declined to name the network, citing a contractual requirement.Cuban Chef Marta I. Quintana " Building Cultural Bridges through Food!

Cuban Chef Marta I. Quintana ” Building Cultural Bridges through Food!

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Cuban Cherry Tomato Spread

View video on Youtube: Cuban Cherry Tomato Spread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Marta Goes Inside the Kitchen of...

Chef Gregory of the Ritz Carlton Cancun shows Chef Marta of Havana Road Cafe how to make Mexican Ravioli.

Sunday Brunch: Spanish Tortilla

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Comfort Food: Havana Road Ropa Vieja

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Cuban Quick and Easy Paella!

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Stop By Havana Road For Sunday Brunch

View Video on Youtube: Stop By Havana Road For Sunday Brunch