It personifies the fifth taste, umami, meaning savory. Put dark chicken, pot roasted in soy sauce and butter on my plate and I’m helpless. It’s so good, it makes me blush at first bite.
For years, the only place you could get chicken barbacoa was at Cafe Habana City, the mango-colored Cuban restaurant on Bertrand owned by Raphael Garcia. Lucky for Lafayette, the Garcia-Suarez clan has more than one great cook in the family. Garcia’s cousin, Yoani Suarez, who was a partner in Cafe Habana, has set out on his own, with a new restaurant, Rumba Cafe, on Ambassador Caffery.
The menu is nearly identical to Cafe Havana’s right now, but Suarez, who is cook, bartender, bottle washer and sweep, (his wife, Josefina runs the front of the house) is experimenting as he goes. I had lunch there yesterday and walked away with stars in my eyes.
Suarez’s tuna croquettes were a revelation. He was fooling around with the Cuban classic and tried adding some ham and cheese to the tuna mix. The little croquettes are breaded and lightly fried. The come to the table too hot to bite, let them cool a bit so that you can experience the creamy savory mix without searing your tongue.
His Cuban sandwich was dead on, the bread crunchy with a beautiful patina from the sandwich press called a plancha, the pork slow cooked and shredded, ham, melty cheese, mustard, pickles, and a dish of hot green sauce on the side. And then there was the barbacoa, with sides of black beans and rice cooked together called moros, boiled yucca and sweet fried plantains.
I wasn’t the only one stuffing herself at lunchtime, but I was the only customer in the room speaking English. Rumba Cafe sounds like it’s the Cuban expat gathering place, replete with son and salsa on the stereo. The liquor license arrived last week, mojitos, naturally, are the drink of the house.
Lunch runs about $8-$10, there’s nothing on the menu over $20. Rumba’s Cafe is located at 1512 Ambassador Caffery, (just north of the Eraste Landry intersection). Hours are 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Mon-Sat, call 988-5208 for more info.
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Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
San Fran wins the World Series; Sistine Chapel improvements; Kurds moving toward Syria and more national and international news for Thursday, October 30, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
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New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
Shoppers familiar with Louisiana-based Rouses Market might be surprised when they walk into the new third location set to open at the Corner of Johnston Street and Duhon Road south the Acadiana Mall on Wednesday.
Noted architect and co-founder/principal of Architects Southwest receives highest honor given to former student.
Know an innovator, job creator and visionary with a penchant for hard work? We want to know that person.
He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.
Actually he’s not, but in this age of say anything, which the Harson campaign has perfected, we thought, ‘What the hell?’
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"This week, the Advertiser Editorial Board announced endorsements of Lafayette Parish School Board candidates. While I respect the newspapers’ right to make these endorsements, I do not agree with them."
In the vein of her literary hero Ernest Gaines, San Francisco Bay Area writer Natalie Baszile transforms a crop that’s mundane to some into a lush, beautiful thing and creates a world within her characters where relatives arrive in steady waves “like a river’s rising tide” and the soil is “dark and rich as ground French roast.”
If you care about the wellbeing of Louisiana’s college students, vote against Amendments 1 and 2.