Hello all! Today I want to take a moment to recognize Benito Rivero, the owner and Executive Chef of Casual Habana Cafe, one of our most prized restaurants on Main Street, right here in Hackensack, New Jersey. Benito’s (or as we all call him, Benny) journey with Casual Habana Cafe is evidence of his commitment, creativity, and amazing attention to detail. (SEE THE INSTAGRAM VIDEO THAT GOT OVER 130,000 VIEWS!)
Step one foot inside Casual Habana Cafe and you’ll immediately see Benny’s influence, even before you put one bite of food into your mouth. The restaurant/bar is spotless and offers such a warm, friendly, inviting vibe. This is the reason it is commonly known as “the place to eat if you want to be seen in Hackensack.” Seriously, if I have a business lunch there, I have to add 30 minutes just to be able to say hello to everyone I bump into.
The first thing you’ll experience is a warm greeting from the staff. Really – everyone is smiling and appears very happy to be there and serve the patrons. Once you sit, you’ll be presented with a menu that has just the right amount of selections. And yet, I almost always just say “Surprise me.” I’ve not had a single experience where I didn’t love the meal. My favorite dish though? Grilled chicken with sauteed onions, rice, black beans, with a side of plantains.
During your meal at Casual Habana Cafe, do let the staff talk you into a cocktail – I don’t care which one – you’re going to love it because even behind the bar, quality is paramount. Take a look at the liquor brands on display and you’ll recognize them as some of the best. Also, chances are high that Benny will come out of the kitchen to ask how your meal was. He genuinely cares about the quality and is always making sure everyone is completely happy. He’s a true professional. I’m told he does the same at his other Casual Habana location in New Milford.
After your meal, make sure to order a Cuban coffee. It’s the best way to end a wonderful dining experience. Seriously, you can’t go wrong at Casual Habana Cafe.
Casual Habana and Benny are the ultimate examples of how to manage a bar/restaurant effectively. The Main Street Business Alliance, Inc. is proud to have Casual Habana on Main Street – it’s pure gold.
Check out Benito’s Merchant Page HERE.