Black Bean Deli & Cuban Café
What can I say, I’m Hispanic and I lived in Miami, I’ve had Cuban food for years. You see, Cuba is one of only of two Latin American countries that prefer black beans over any other bean, the other country being Venezuela, where I lived for a long time as a kid, so I love Cuban food, it tastes like home.
We share other tastes in food, like our love for Ropa Vieja (shredded beef), in Venezuela it is called Carne Mechada, but basically the same dish, fried plantains, and white rice with more black beans on top.
We even curse the same way. Cubans and Venezuelans have to be some of the foulest mouthed people in the Caribbean, we curse like sailors even in front of our children and parents.
So as you can see when I hear that the Black Bean Deli was opening a new location on Colonial, I was excited. More of the food I love and I could curse while I ate it. It would be heaven.
But alas, the romance was short lived. I don’t know if they sold the place to someone else or if this new location has nothing to do with the old one, but somewhere along the way something got lost.
I walk in and the warning signs where all over, no Cubans! Where is the old guy talking about Fidel’s imminent death? Coffee, I did not smell coffee! And ohhhh the missing smell of pernil, that, was also missing. I should have left right there and then, but I was too hungry.
So I had the Cuban sandwich, this is the one that sets the bar in any Cuban deli place Miami. The sandwich was OK, but….. honestly the “Pernil” (roasted pork leg, sweet delicious roasted pork leg) was not quite there, I think they were using something else, but I do know what it was. It sure as heck was not “Pernil”, they missed that boat entirely.
To make matters worse, no mustard! Really? I’d think you would at least ask if I wanted some on it.
The sad truth is that this place is a pseudo Cuban hipster cafe in Orlando, great for playing safe and telling your friends how much you enjoyed that “Cuban” food, much how they enjoyed that Mexican food over at Chipotle.
But just as Chipotle, I will come back and have that Cuban sandwich, after all, it did taste good. But I do have to say that that Cuban sandwich was not quite Cuban at all.