Tag Archives: Cuba

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.

Cuba Si, Yankee Si The Beginning of a Detente Between The U.S.A. & Cuba

Cuba just 90-miles from Key West!
Cuba just 90-miles from Key West!

APtravelnews-March 21st,-Havana, Cuba-“Bob & Barb On the Road Again.” Yes, as pundits claim; “this is an extraordinary day.” Indeed it is! Well, in the throes of a President getting ready to leave office, and him seeking to make a farewell statement by doing all he can to open up Cuba and American relations for his legacy, he took everyone he could including his mother-in-law, wife and daughters, 40-Congressional and Senate leaders and many others to the largest Caribbean Island with him, at a cost of 40-million bucks or so! I was invited by the Commodore of the sport fishing fleet in Havana Harbor, a long time friend.

Look, the Cuban people are great just as our people in the USA are great! This post is not going to be too controversial, as history will view the true events and out coming’s of this historic visit, that took 90-years for an American President to visit this (make no mistake) a full communist nation.  What I do know is that the average American tourist still cannot fly over there on vacation, and doing business with a country that has stolen 6-billion dollars of American lucre in real estate and businesses, home and properties, killed and jailed uncountable people, will be fraught with land-mines at least for the foreseeable future.

I do know there already is a strong jockeying going on for U.S. interests trying to get in and get first dibs on the possibly most lucrative invasion of Gold and silver diggers ever! The Keys business and real estate community is abuzz with anticipation of property values soaring, and the potential for cheap labor as well, always a big problem for tourism businesses in the Keys! I can see the ferries, ferrying and the sky’s a-buzz with jets, auto traffic in the Keys is going to become impossible as it already is on any holiday or weekend with PR types hyping and squeezing the last bit of visitors they can on to a mostly, single lane road. My prediction is lots of money to be made, but for every ying there is a yang! What goes up or out, much like a fly fishing line, must come back and it might not always come back with roses, but with thorns too! Stay tuned! This is big, at least I can’t wait for my real Media Noche sandwich!!!