Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Feeling Cuban....

As I walk out of the gate, Spanish humming behind me, the smell of fresh brewed Cuban coffee slaps me in the face. God I missed that smell. I breathe deeply, taking the aroma to my lungs, to my blood. All of a sudden I have this urge, this craving to have a cafecito.

As I get into Mami's car, a familiar voice greets me - Armando Pérez Roura and Radio Mambí, discussing the whole Vamos a Cuba book controversy, and how the superintendent of the schools had said that the pioneros cubanos were like boy scouts. I almost had a heart attack. They also mentioned a documentary, premiering today called Plantados - filmed in secret with a small digital camara at La Cabaña and Isla de Pinos. Today at 7pm at Casa Bacardí. I cannot wait to hear the reviews.

Mami mentions she wants to go see The Lost City, if I'm not too tired. Not at all, I tell her, I've been dying to see it too. So we are going tonight, and I will comment on it tomorrow.

We arrive at Havana Miami where I promptly order the soup of the day potaje de colorados, with the traditional pechuga de pollo a la plancha con tostones. The potaje, was to die for. I cannot remember when was the last time I had it; the calabaza melted in your mouth and the trozos de chorizo y jamón were exquisite. But the tostones ...... oh man, those tostones done with rodillo, huge, well seasoned, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside tostones.

Lunch is over and now it is time. The moment I've been waiting for since I got off the plane, I ordered a cortadito. Nice, brothy and color cartucho.

"¿Tiene azúcar?," I asked. "La del café," answered el mesero. Wonderful! But after so many months of Dunkin Donuts coffee, would it taste as good as I remember? I take a buchito through the espumita. Nice, boiling hot Cuban coffee - bitter and sweet at the same time; with a nice kick. Que rico.

Welcome to Miami.

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