Ate here with my Cuban wife and Cuban friends of ours a few days after we got married. I was treating to dinner. The place is on the main drag and was really a last resort option since it was late. The food was unremarkable and nothing special at all... your average Cuban fare... chicken or pork with rice and beans.
The staff and the owner though (who knew my wife and all the friends I was with) after extensively congratulating us on getting married later proceeded to ask my wife if she needed a commission for the meal... i.e. let's stick 30-40% more on the check and make you pay extra.
When called out on this, it never crossed the owner's mind that this was dishonest, crooked, and simply outrageously disrespectful to me and my wife. No... he simply proceeded with various excuses and defenses as to why he thought he was still in the right - even though he was just being a thief. I proceeded to knock down all his flimsy arguments to the point that he simply ended up saying that this was a private restaurant and he basically chooses to do whatever he wants.
The sad story of commissions in Cuba though is really nothing new. I would have expected this behavior in a regular paladar in Old Havana where the ownership didn't know us and our group was just another foreigner and some Cuban friends... but not somewhere where we were very known quantities.
Bottom line... you are much better off eating in numerous other places in Viñales. The management here are flat out dishonest scoundrels. Beware and stay away.
(General word to the wise... If ever you dine in state or even private restaurants in Cuba, be sure to ask for a menu (the real menu, there are sometimes 2) and check the prices ahead of time. If they don't have a menu - walk away and don't encourage or enable bad business.)
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