Sunday, August 23, 2015

* Eating 52 Countries In 52 Weeks - Week 16 - CUBA

I owe my introduction to delicious Cuban food to my good friend Gloria who always treated me like a part of her family. So when we decided to eat Cuba this week, I knew exactly what I was looking forward to. 

Felix Continental Cafe is located in the quaint Plaza Square in the city of Orange and has been serving authentic Cuban and Spanish food since the 70s. Their menu seems to have outgrown their small dining area that spills out to the sidewalk in front.

Cubans love their bread and that is what is served first - warm and ready to melt the accompanying butter pieces and your taste buds. Cuban bread is similar to french baguette with slightly different ingredients and baking method.

You know by now that we always try to pick the authentic beverages from the country we are eating and this time we found two. Materva is a sweet bubbly soda made from Yerba Mate plant. It certainly is easy on the palate like other mainstream sodas.

Malta, on the other hand, is definitely an acquired taste. This non-alcoholic beverage is brewed from barley in a similar way as beer and sometimes has other grains added to the recipe. Though I liked this new taste, I chose to trade it in with Rick's soda since he has already acquired its taste.

When we have food from south of U.S. border, we always get empanadas to see the subtle differences from country to country. Empanadita Criolla is the Cuban version of the pie with ground meat filling and a thinner crust. 

Cuba is famous for their sandwiches and their bread is specially designed for this toasted bliss dripping with cheese, aptly called Cuban Sandwich!

As a side dish we had a full plate of Casamiento, a beautifully colored rice and bean dish garnished with bright red bell pepper pieces.

I was too full to eat the Arroz con Pollo - a combination of chicken and saffron rice, but caved in to the temptation for the few pieces of Maduros that came with it, for I sure have a weakness for plantains.

Our first dessert choice of Guava Shells in syrup with cream cheese was not available so we picked the other thing on the menu that we did not know. Turns out Natilla was a kind of simple custard made with milk and eggs topped with cinnamon.

We love Felix Continental Cafe not only for their genuinely delicious food but the simple and comforting ambiance. I am making a wish right now to live (almost) around the corner from this restaurant and the lively square it resides in.

¡Buen apetito!

No comments:

Post a Comment