El Sabor Del Cubano


In what kind of beautiful world can a family of three sit down for dinner on a Friday night and walk out supremely satisfied and fully satiated for only $11.

In my world.

We stopped into a little Cuban joint near our house in Cumbayá where the bridge crosses over the river off the Chaquiñan.

I went with the estofado de cerdo, or pork stew. Tender and soaked in a thick gravy, it was melt in your mouth amazing. Served with a hearty portion of black beans and rice, plus some yucca topped with chicharrónes. A salad dressed lightly in vinegar and oil cut some of the richness, while adding a welcome hit of tang.

So damn good.

Also included in the very reasonable price of $3 per plate was soup, juice and dessert. A pudding-like compound made from passion fruit, milk and corn that ended the meal just as we had begun. Nice and sweet. A little more firm and with a slightly foamy texture, the squishy square was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. And something I wouldn’t mind having again soon. Bookended by a drink so thick and icy, I would venture to call it a smoothie. There is literally nothing tastier to me than fresh strawberry juice.

Except for maybe raspberry.

As we sat there enjoying our bites over audible sighs, a father and his son walked in. Were presented with two large pots that appeared to carry some heft. When they left, we asked the owner what magnificence had just crossed our paths.

Something something something…

Did he just say cow tail?

My husband confirmed what I thought I might have heard.

Spicy cow tail stew.

Not something that would typically have me salivating, but the fact that I already was at this man’s two hands. It only made me want to understand more intimately what he meant when he said…

Muy rico.

With a look in his eyes that read, this stuff is the shit.

Regaling us with more of his favorites, he went on to describe a delightful sounding croquette that is either stuffed or topped with bechamel sauce. It doesn’t matter. Both sound great in my belly.

We’ll be back soon, we say.

And I’m thinking, this week for lunch.

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