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.
Meat, cheese and veggies piled high on Texas toast
American companies export smog; UN calls for cease-fire in Gaza; fist bump keeps germ transfer down and more national and international news for Monday, July 28, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The eclectic vibe of summer
Three bedroom River Ranch cottage or four bedroom Youngsville traditional home
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
In this letter to the editor, Lafayette Parish School Board member Shelton Cobb (the board's former president) weighs in on the difficulty behind this year's budget process, calling out a number of his fellow board members over their inability to drop their power struggle with the superintendent and make the interests of the students a top priority.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
A refreshing twist at a Lafayette institution comes served with a black bean salad stuffed avocado
Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Three bedroom Sunset Victorian or three bedroom Opelousas Acadian home
Louisiana designer commissioned for NYC Awards gift
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
INDEats and EatLafayette want to give one lucky foodie and friends the most memorable meal — here’s how you can win
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia