Though they all serve the same food, I'm glad we had options. We could either pay $12 CUC ($14 USD) or $50 Cuban ($2 USD) for a filet of fish. The decision lay in where we could find a government run establishment that runs almost exclusively on what I think of as Cuban food stamps.
Apparently, up until just a few short years ago, all restaurant we owned by the government. With the beginning of 'capitalism' emerging in Cuba, private homes have converted to makeshift diners. A national can now make a menu, name their price, and hope that someone with enough Convertibles enjoys their fare.
We dined both ways.
El Laurel is a private restaurant about a mile outside Marina Hemingway situated on the water. The scene was beautiful, the food was good, and la cuenta (the bill) was like that of an American restaurant. A couple drinks and a couple entrees and it was $55.
Now the house down Ave 5, make a right, go past the school, turn right and it's on the left, now that's a spot! It's a house that's been converted into a daytime restaurant. There are two tables outside and two tables inside. There is a cook and a waitress. The menu is written on the board. We had a delicious meal! Two refrescos, two huge plates of chicken, rice, beans, and plantains had us walking out with a bull just under $5!