Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hot Dogs, March 28, 2017

Wee Boy and I had an errand in Aurora today, so we treated ourselves to lunch at Cuba Bakery and Cafe. It's just a little storefront joint, with a big bakery case full of cakes and pastries (including my favorite, guava & cheese pastelitos), a lighted board of sandwich offerings (classics like the Cuban sandwich and the Medianoche---I am guessing they'd probably make me an Elena Ruz, if I asked), a steam table full of daily offerings like picadillo, carne con papas, ropa vieja, and masitas de puerco), and a scattering of tables. The walls are adorned with a mix of photos and classic "Visit Cuba" travel posters. Latin music made my son dance in his high chair. The staff is always friendly, chatting with most of the clientele in Spanish. I'm usually the only non-Spanish-speaker there and I'm always pretty sure they think I know nothing about Cuban food. Today, she described the picadillo to me simply as, "Ground beef."

I'm always hoping for masitas to show up on the steam table, but I've not lucked into those yet. Today, though, I had a styrofoam plate of well-seasoned picadillo, generous with the olives and bell peppers, accompanied by black beans, rice, and maduros. To wash it all down, I had a cafe con leche. Wee Boy shared my plate, devouring most of the beans and some picadillo, but steadfastly declining plantains.

So, I think we'd have a super-simple dinner. Looking in the fridge for inspiration, I spotted a pack of hot dogs and decided that sounded great. To counter-balance the processedness of the hot dogs, our sides were cucumber slices (Wee Boy yelled, "Moon! Moon!" and chomped down happily), grapes, and blackberries.

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