Last night, I met two dear friends, Chris and Trecia, for diner at Cabana as they wanted Cuban. I looked at the menu beforehand [as did they] and knew I'd keep it simple with rice and beans, pictured below.
Even though this is the simplest of dishes, sometimes restos get fancy, and fancy can mean disaster for an allergic person. For example, Cabana has three types of rice, White, Saffron and Coconut Milk infused rice. (Now the jury is out on whether I can eat coconut safely, although I believe the answer is yes given my love for the Entemann's Lemon Coconut cake that my Bubby used to serve. But that’s another story.)
I ordered the Aguacate salad [with tomatoes and avocado and no dressing!] except I think it came dressed so I didn’t eat it. The waitress, albeit pretty and seemed to understand what I was saying about allergies, became frustrated the third time I confirmed that there were no hidden nuts nor dressing on the salad esp. as the salad looked dressed. Trecia tried some and agreed with me that either it was dressed or that was just how the tomatoes tasted. In uncertain situations like these, I either send it back or if I'm feeling lazy and rich, just don’t eat it.
And then the beans and rice arrived. They looked plain and smelled plain and in theory should be plain--Cubans are not known for throwing nuts around, fish yes, nuts no—so I tucked in and it was yummy.
Luckily, this time it all worked out. Sometimes I'm less lucky.