Tag Archives: dishes

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.

Country Auctions Are Memorable Events 

Muddy Pond, TN.—May 15th,-What is it that drives so many of us towards wanting to spend a day, or night looking at, and bidding on someone else’s old stuff? Bargains I guess, but I believe it’s a lot more than that. From dishes to tractors, rusting tools, old water pumps, to an automobile, lamp or roll top desk, or even a house and land, auctions are a great way for many folks to quickly dispose of their earthly goods, and get some cash.

An auction is a special happening. Watching other people bid on items, is interesting, entertaining and fun, you can also learn values of your own items at home, too! Getting something at a perceived “good” price just plain feels good.  

We know of the big guys like Christie’s and Sotheby’s that sell items sometimes in the millions of dollars, the top end of the auction sales dollars scale. However, for every one of their auctions, there are thousands of auctions all around the country selling beds, old clothes, books, gold jewelry, silver, copper and brass sundries, furniture–you name it, they sell it!  Hands go up, a tip of the hat, a flip of the finger, and buyers number cards are flashed for a bid, many bidders wait for the very last minute to when the auctioneer counts down “going once, going twice, going three times” slams the hammer down and says “sold.” In our area there’s Pages Auction on RT. 127, and there’s an auction just across the street from the Chronicle at Little Angels each Friday night. But in just about every burg in Tennessee, there will be an auction to go to, as well.

There’s usually a food vendor selling chili dogs, burgers and soda pop, and sometimes, as I found at a recent fund raising auction for the Muddy Pond volunteer fire department, The Mennonite community ladies had pie selections that even now are making my mouth water just thinking about them. I passed on the burgers and dogs, and settled on the pies.  I can still savor the shoofly, blueberry and coconut cream pieces I sampled for lunch that day, on my palate, and in my mind.

Hundreds of folks showed up for this yearly “happening” that featured horse tack, new hand made playhouses and sheds, electric tool and knife sharpeners (I bought one too) wagon wheels, wagons, furniture, lamps, vehicles, farm animals and equipment-even a mule, some ducks, chicks and rabbits. I was happy to buy some tomato and pepper plants-I passed on the mule! Everybody loves the moveable feast of an auction.

Auctions that have variety in their diversity and a colorful auctioneer, draw big crowds. The Muddy Pond, a farming community that prides itself in fine home and shop crafted items; the whole feeling was old country communal and charming. The event made for a very enjoyable occasion. I know people that have completely outfitted their home or apartment from auctions at 10-percent what would have cost them list price new.