We love to eat and we love great beers. Let us share with you our views on what Dallas has to offer in fine (and not so fine) dining and fine beers.
Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.
We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Restaurant Review - Caribbean Cafe
I stumbled across this gem of a restaurant completely by accident, and am so very happy that I did. The funny thing is that when I saw the sign I thought to myself "mmmmmm.....Jamaican" and whipped in for some jerk chicken. It is odd that I only associate Caribbean cuisine with Jamaican, because Cuba is also in the Caribbean and with it's own unique cuisine that is every bit delightful but very different from what we think of as Caribbean.
The restaurant is located in a small, slightly tattered strip mall at the corner of Webb Chapel and Beltline in Carrollton. However once you enter, you find yourself in a tasteful small cafe that is inviting and clean. There are only a dozen or so tables along with seating at the full service bar and when filled, creates quite a ruckus. Service is polite, friendly and efficient, but be aware that this is not a rush, rush, turn the table kind of a place, it is latin style, with latin owners, who believe in leisurely meals that normally take hours so that you may enjoy your meal and conversation. If you are in a hurry you may be frustrated.
The appetizer selection includes latin staples such as Empenadas (meat stuffed patries), Croquetas (fried rolls of meat and mashed potatoes), Yucca Frita (kind of like a potato, but quite unlike a potato also), Ceviche and my favorite Papa Relleno (a fried, meat filled potato ball) which is a meal in its own right.
The Ropa Vieja (which translates as old clothes....odd) is a shredded, slow cooked beef with onions, green and red peppers in a tomatoe sauce and is served with black beans and rice, which can be had pre-mixed or separate. Also included are fried plantains that you may have as sweet or maduros style, which reminds me of fried banana chips. The tomato and slice of avocado served on the side are almost an afterthought and would not be missed if left off.
I would also suggest the Picadillo, which is ground beef, potatoes, olives and onions in a cuban style tomato sauce. Yummmmmm.
Bistec de Puerco Empanizado is hunks of cooked pork which is then breaded and fried. Sounds like a chicken fried steak? No my friends, it is not. The sauce in an uber garlic mojo sauce that will cause your loved one to cringe for days. Heck, I needed some alone time anyway. The dish comes with the ubiquitous black beans and rice, fried yucca and fried plantains.
The deserts look yummy, but frankly I was so stuffed after the meal that I could not even get down a wafer thin mint. Perhaps some day......
Having lived near one of the Cuban enclaves in Florida where English is rarely spoken, I can tell you that this restaurant serves authentic, marvellous Cuban dishes that would compare favorably to any in the country. If you have not tried Cuban cuisine you should go, now, and feast. Just be ready for some quality alone time.
I am lucky enough to have a group of good friends who share my passion for great beers and inspired dining. My goal is to entice you into sampling something different, something uncommon, something outside the box. Join us in the neverending search for the perfect beer and the perfect meal.