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.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising as new job seekers keep entering the market.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.