Havana Sandwich Shop, Brookhaven GA

In 1976, Buford Highway looked very, very different. While today we celebrate it as the Atlanta area’s original home for cooking and cuisines from around the world, in ’76, it was just another busy suburban four-lane with all the same restaurants and shops as every other busy suburban four-lane. The Baldinos was then a Pizza Inn, the Monterrey was then a Shrimp Boats, the Farmers Market was then a Lionel Play World, and that patch of demolished flat ground at the intersection with Oakcliff was then a Hardee’s. Also, that porn theater that everybody giggles about was a mainstream movie house, showing Freaky Friday. Seriously. Continue reading “Havana Sandwich Shop, Brookhaven GA”


Havana Restaurant, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)

Once upon a time, Atlanta was home to a pair of remarkably good sandwich shops where people could go for authentic Cuban food: Havana and Kool Korner. Then, across two terrible years, Kool Korner’s owner retired (only to move to Birmingham, get restless and reopen his beloved store) and Havana burned to the ground. Fortunately, around the time that Silvesonso Ramirez went back into business in Alabama, Debbie Benedit and her son Eddie Benedit Jr. reopened Havana using most of the same recipes that Eddie’s grandfather Guido had used when he first opened Havana on Buford Highway in 1976. Then there was, briefly, some bad blood boiling as Eddie’s uncle started his own sandwich shop with a very similar name. That’s all in the past now, but doing further reading of older stories about this restaurant – see the list below – will probably find traces of the family disagreements. Continue reading “Havana Restaurant, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)”