While driving down Airport-Pulling Road in Naples looking for a restaurant, your head is in constant motion spinning from left to right passing one strip mall after another. I felt like the girl in “The Exorcist.” We were searching for the much praised Rumba Cuban Cafe.
We finally arrived in strip mall 45 and saw a not so alluring restaurant, from outside appearance, awaiting us. Well, that sure changed within seconds as we entered. Happiness enveloped us in an instant. Groups of regulars laughing with the waitresses. Music (rumba, of course). We were instantly seated and a lovely young lady, just short of hugging and kissing us, took our orders.
Sitting at a table next to us and around the restaurant were Cuban families….a small percentage of the 210,248 Cubans living in Naples.
We didn’t order a giant meal but what we had was excellent. First, a perfectly made Mojito.
Followed by Croquetas de la CasaHam. Croqueta that was breaded and fried until golden brown.
That was followed by ”The Traditional” cuban sandwich with stacked ham & a thin layer of roasted pork, swiss cheese, mustard, mayo & pickles. Probably the best I’ve tasted. Even though my wife and I split it, we had to wrap up half to bring home it was so filling.
Along with the cubano we couldn’t resist the Sweet Plantains/Maduros. Ripe plantains sliced & fried until dark & tasty.
The waitress offered us a dozen great sounding choices for dessert including our favorite flan. But we had to resist. She walked us out to the door and gave me one last hug and whispered in my ear, “You are beauuuutiful.” My wife showed no apparent jealousy.