Category Archives: Food

Abuelas Cuban Cafe

Americanpresstravelnews- September 19th, Crossville, TN.-“Bob & Barb on the Road Again”–Crossville has several very good Mexican Restaurants, now it has Abuelas Cuban Café.  No, not all Hispanic food emporiums are the same. There are many variations on rice and beans, pork and beef, spicing and marinating, etc,

What’s different? An island such as Cuba, and the little city within a city; Little Havana in S. Florida, has its own distinctive take from Mexican and Puerto Rican foods. Cubans grow Yucca, of course, as in other Hispanic foods; Plantains and black beans, yet marinated roast pork, seasoned chicken and Cuban Spice Veggies are usually distinctive to Cuban style foods, of course not always.  Havana salad (use of fruits such as mango and papaya) has avocado and a very different take on citrus salad dressing.  Piccadillo bowl has savory stewed beef with raisins and olives (Mexican piccadillo does not usually have raisins) white or yellow rice, yes, but seasoned differently.  All of this is to say, Cuban foods are just different and savory too, in their own right.

We tried the Cuban sandwich, and the roast pork sandwich-they are definitely quite unique in their food genre. In true Cuban style, meats are usually marinated, and this not only softens them, but adds considerable flavor. The Cuban bread is toasted with the ingredients in between the bread, usually pressed solidly on the grill. Various items (pork, ham, salami, pickle and cheese) are melted and hot when brought to the table with a side of sweet plantains (banana’s) delicious!.

Mom Karen Reph (the Abuela- means Grandmother) and her daughters;  Kelsey  Green, and Karly opened the restaurant July 7th 2017. But first, they did a few “pop up” trials where they went into two other off-day restaurants, and showcased their dishes to the public. They had great responses, and so they “jumped the broom” so to say, on to, and into 595 Main Street in Crossville and opened Abuelas Cuban Café.

WOW! The café con leche (Coffee with hot milk) a very Cuban coffee presentation, is superb. Their flan custard dessert was delicious, and the empanadas (little fried pocket sandwiches like those fresh fried pies) were filled with ground, marinated beef with raisins and olives. The empanadas were terrific, and we know; Barb and I lived near some of the best Cuban restaurants in S. Florida, and frequented all of them from time to time several years ago. When you go, try the Yucca Fries with some tangy mojo mayo for dipping.  The Havana Salad, try it for yourself-its got the goods for flavors of the islands.

We really like Cuban coffees, and starting out the day with a strong, sweet Espresso is a real mood, eye opener, and energy wake-up.

Karen Reph, mom and grandmother amongst the 3-co-owners said that: “We brought to Crossville our heritage foods we grew up with, and felt Crossville folks would love them too.”

We explored something new in Crossville, and found ourselves at a Cuban Restaurant, so reminiscent of what we enjoyed in South Florida and the Keys, and we are happy to recommend Abuelas for everyone looking to spice up their lives and palates, for a change of pace.  Abuelas is Located at 595 Main Street, store #102 in Crossville.

By the way Barb and I wrote the book “Best Restaurants in the Florida Keys.”(Available at Amazon) Of the hundreds of restaurants, one of our favorites was a Cuban Restaurant.

Discovering a Secret City

Japan suffered greatly for being the aggressor in a war they mightily regretted.
And a cousin was in the middle of it all!

American Press Travel News-Bob and Barb “On The Road Again-this time in Oak Ridge, TN–Secret City No Longer a Secret

“Shhh, don’t ask and don’t tell was the official mantra of,  and for anyone living and working in Oak Ridge, Tennessee over 7-decades ago.

Barb and I jumped at the opportunity to check out a terrific area that offers museums, fishing, great restaurants, and even bird watching, not necessarily in that order.”

 

Imagine visiting a city that wasn’t even on the map until the late 40’s. People who lived in that city had no address and phone available to the outside world. Their street addresses were in coded names. It was as if they lived on an island, did everything together on a social basis with what turned out to be an extended family of some 75,000 people. These were specialists, and their families in unique scientific fields in physics, chemistry electrical and chemical engineering, boiler making, construction specialists, metallurgists, and heavy construction development where K-25, a mile long was the largest building under cover of roof, at 44-acres was constructed at that time.

In1941, just after Pearl Harbor was bombed, most all of these folks were brought to a place that they couldn’t write home about, or have their friends and family visit.

They were on a mission, an incredible mission to assist in ending the war in the Pacific and what they wrought, the Atom Bomb did just that, after this hellish bomb was unleashed on Japan, it helped save hundreds of thousands of our service men and women, who would have had to storm the beaches of Japan, and those people that would assist them.

Oak Ridge is the city that allowed teams of physicists and brain stormer’s like Einstein and Teller to name just a very few, to help make this deed a reality. Today, about 8-decades later, there is still tight security for much of the business end of the city that is devoted to developing modern technological advances in nuclear medicine, nuclear power and various other technologies, with some of them absolutely top secret even today.

Some facts about early Oak Ridge are in order here: The Oak Ridge Reservation encompassed 59,000 acres in 1940s, Oak Ridge used one-seventh of the electricity produced in the U.S. during full production, the average age in Oak Ridge at the time was 27, Oak Ridge didn’t appear on a map until 1949, it was not incorporated as a city until 1959. Because of the secrecy demands of the Manhattan project, the Oak Ridge High School football team was only allowed to play away games, and the opposing team was not given the team roster of the players, they were only known by numbers. Every person over the age of 12 had to wear an identification badge at all times during the 40’s.

Visiting the American Museum of Science & Energy we passed by a large image of
Einstein who had penned a letter to President Roosevelt that helped convince him to initiate the development of the “bomb” before Nazi Germany could do it. This letter helped kick off the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge. The entire story is now in plain sight for visitors to this museum and it’s a terrific place to bring the family. Any age range can learn much from the hands-on displays and mind games that challenge with their simple and complex games designed to broaden the mind and enlighten the curious. Oak Ridge continues to earn the U.S. the title of “Super Power.” Live demonstrations, audiovisuals, machines, and devices will definitely keep you and the children entertained and delighted. We also visited John Rice Erwin’s open-air museum called “the most authentic and complete replica of pioneer Appalachian life in the world.” The museum contains over 250,000 pioneer relics including 30 log structures from pioneer times, a chapel, a schoolhouse, cabins and barns replete with actual relics of those times. Outstanding!

.  We went fly-fishing with guide Clayton Gist (865) 806-7803 and yes, got braggin’ rights! Gist explained that the Clinch River is probably the premier trout river in Tennessee. We headed for Big Ed’s Pizza at Broadway in Oak Ridge, terrific on our way home.

 

 

Tennessee Historical Sojourn

American Press Travel News–August 10th, 2018–Bob and Barb on the Road Again, this time in Morristown, TN.–Interesting time in an interesting part of TN. Barb and I love historical museums and places that exude memorable places. There is so much known, but far more unknown about the Civil War period in America. Seems many eople just cannot get enough of it! Here we were in Morristown, TN. great places to dine, neat antique shops, original homes of famous folk such as Davy Crockett and Civil War Generals to name a few. Bet you didn’t know that people before the 1900’s were smaller than folks of today. To get on a horse they needed help, voila, step-ups of stone for mounting a horse, uniforms any uniforms were hand stitched and provided by special tailors and seamstresses. Hat makers too were in demand. Machines were few hands were many.  Weapons of the past were also hand crafted, heavy and slow to reload, but today they are magnificent works of mostly handcrafted works of highly sought after art. Of course, you gotta eat when on assignment, and Morristown has great “eats.”  Crabcakes and Pineapple Steaks, huh?

More to come! There is so much to cover.

A facsimile of Davy Crockett’s flint-lock rifle.

Arts and drama. These folks make it happen!

Whitestone Inn, an Inn One Step Above

Giants swim just off the docks at Watts Bar Lake’s Whitestone Inn.

American Press Travel News–July 2018, When Paul and Jean Cowell founded the Whitestone Inn in Paint Rock, TN, as a Bed and Breakfast in 1997, they introduced a delightful and desirous destination place to the rural natural area, not far from Kingston, Knoxville and more than 1000-restaurants and other services. (Just watched Lee and Denise Boggs on Knoxville, TV. They really explained just what their great plans are)

Over the past 10-years, Barb and I visited the Inn and always came away wishing we could stay longer than our reservations called for. This true refresher of the soul, offered us, and their discerning visitors, a peace rarely found at any other accommodation we’ve experienced in our many visits to other resorts and B&B’s across the USA. 

We’ve found that unlike any other resort, and large quality accommodation destination vacation spot, the B & B is a true reflection of the owners- a more intimate, personal experience made excellent, or just so-so, based on the personalities and attitudes of the owners, and their staff as well. 

Put your pin on your TN. map at Kingston for the Whitestone Inn.

Recently Lee & Denise Boggs of Living Waters Ministry in Hiddenite, NC, along with Dean & Debbie Winegardner of Knoxville, have purchased Whitestone Inn and property. The Boggs are operating the Inn and plan to carry on the legacy established by the Cowells. We really enjoyed the laid-back, yet very professional new manager/owner Lee Boggs. He was extremely motivated to make every guest feel right at home at the Whitestone. The new owner’s goals are for Whitestone to continue being a “sanctuary for the soul”— a safe haven where folks can come for a time of rest and refreshment-a “recreation” that puts the real meaning in recreating oneself. They certainly are continuing to provide a great B&B (and much more) experience based on our several visits over the years.

Located on the Watts Bar Lake, surrounded by a protected bird and wildlife sanctuary, Whitestone provides breathtaking views and sunrises and an abundance of wildlife. Deer are seen regularly, as well as wild turkey, and they have a large blueberry patch that guests can pick from to their heart’s content.

With well trained, friendly, motivated staff and 23 beautifully decorated, comfortable suites, great food prepared with love by their professional chefs, comfort is assured. 

There are a multitude of recreational opportunities: hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, frisbee golf, shuffle board, horseshoes, tennis courts, pool, ping pong and a fitness room are always available. Even spa services are offered by a licensed, experienced massage therapist. Romantic carriage rides are a favorite with the guests (we loved it). 

This is a great place for individuals, couples, families, church groups, or corporate retreats, meetings, and events. They can accommodate events of up to 200 people in the spacious and elegant Lion & Lamb Banquet Hall. This place in time and space is a Premier Wedding Venue; Whitestone offers a variety of wedding options and packages ranging from large weddings to even elopements for two. Whitestone also has a variety of venues – the beautiful wedding chapel, a choice of two gazebos, lakeside, by the barn, in the field on a hilltop overlooking a pristine pond, or even in the woods. 

While Whitestone desires to provide a premier getaway B&B, there is a far greater purpose for which Whitestone exists. Since its inception, Whitestone has provided a getaway for missionaries and their families who were on furlough from their assignments abroad. Through the generous donations of Whitestone supporters, they have been able to do this at a greatly reduced price or for no charge at all if necessary.  As they move forward, Lee & Denise plan to continue the missionary care as well as increase the care for Pastors and their families.

Lucious Omelets made right in front of you!
Crab cakes for dinner, fish such as Cod, salmon! We had terrific dinners here!

Get in touch for an very unique experience in Eastern Tennessee: call 865-376-0113 or Google Whitestone Inn, Kingston, TN.