Washington Heights (Florida Style)

April 17th, 2015 § 2 comments

HG is rapidly becoming the color of an antique mahogany chest. Ah, that St. Petersburg sun. HG/BSK’s grandson, Handsome Haru, is now a shade of appetizing butterscotch. Adorable granddaughter Teru is bossing everyone around and responding to compliments on her unique cuteness with maidenly reserve. Yes, everyone is having a good time. Today’s big meal of the day is at Pepo’s Cuban Cafe. The casual eatery is reminiscent of the Cuban restaurants HG enjoyed when doing business with real estate clients in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. (This was where the first wave of Cuban emigres settled in New York City. Their New Jersey choice was Union City). Pepo’s menu features all of the classics—Cubanos (pressed ham, pickle, roast pork and cheese sandwiches); Picadillo, Ropa Vieja, Plantains–and, of course, black beans with white rice or saffron rice. A highlight of the menu is Pernil, slow roasted pork. Pepo’s calls the dish “The Original Pork.” That’s what HG ordered. A big bowl of shredded pork doused with flavorful juices from the roasting pan. The accompanying dish was a platter of saffron rice and black beans. Two salsas–red and green. Every element was perfect. Fluffy rice. Perfectly done beans bursting with a cuminy kick. Pork that captured the gusto of the tropics. And, the portions were super generous. SJ ordered the same dish while everyone else knocked off giant Cubanos. HG drank icy Yerba Mate soda (a sort of Cuban version of Cel-Ray Tonic). HG/BSK are hopeful the thaw in USA-Cuba relations will allow them to soon eat Cuban food in Havana.


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