Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cuban Food: A Welcome Surprise

Paella, my favorite dish.
I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty our Cuban food was on our recent trip with the NC State Wolftrekers.  It was very bland though, and I took along a bottle of Texas Pete to spice up the dishes.  Others in the group took along spices as well. 
Texas Pete to spice things up a bit.

Bread with butter was usually served first.  Cuban bread is a white bread, similar to French bread or Italian bread with an outer crust and a soft middle.

This bread was a little more crispy than some.
Appetizers usually comprised the first course, and I was particularly fond of the croquettes that seemed to be filled with potatoes, cheese, or in some cases meat.  I found a  recipe for Cuban ham croquettes  that I plan to try.
Croquettes and fried plantain chips.

Often there was soup before the main course.

Lentil soup.
I had been warned to steer clear of the salads, but the few salads that I did eat were made of shredded cabbage, carrots and beets.  There wasn't much lettuce used in salads.
Salad of cabbage, beets and carrots.

The main course was usually chicken or some kind of seafood (fish, shrimp or lobster). And almost always with rice and black beans on the side.
Chicken with mango sauce, rice and beans on the side.
Lobster and Shrimp.
   We had to learn to order "medium rare" to avoid over cooked meat and fish. Probably my favorite dish was the paella served at El Floridita.

El Floridita, Hemingway's favorite restaurant.
This paella was delicious.
Desserts consisted of ice cream (not like Local Fresh Raleigh ice cream), puddings or tiramisu.
Ice cream and a "brownie".

 But yes, all in all, I was quite pleased with the Cuban food.  I'll have another post about our breakfast buffet in the Melia Havana Hotel where we stayed. 

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