Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grub Club: Guantanamera

Before I start talking about food, let me say that this week has been killing me!  I'm trying lots of new things with my students - animation with 6th grade, felting with 9th, and the 7th grade is challenging no matter what they are doing - and then there was snow!  Monday morning (Evilness Day, the day that the world was graced with the Evil One 36 years ago) I got up for my walk and saw the following outside my window:
It was ridiculous how much snow was coming down.  Even more ridiculous was the fact that Five was out there walking in it.  I apparently have more sense than her because I went back to bed.
As for Grub Club, something that may not be apparent from my posts is the spirit of competitiveness that some of us may bring to it.  So far, Domestic Goddess leading us to Caucasia had been the title holder for best find.  If you go by scores, it's possible that Fearless Leader unseated her last week with Le Triskell, but besides the fact that he didn't come up with it by himself AND he gets our office Wonder Woman to make his reservations for him, everyone knows that picking a French restaurant is cheating.  I mean, they've turned eating into a fine art.  Coming from that experience, most restaurants in UB are not going to be able to compete (I mean, just look at this bread.  Not only is it NOT fresh baguette served with fresh butter but the presentation isn't as nice, either), but Domestic Goddess brought a fierce contender with the newly opened Cuban restaurant, Guantanamera.
Plastic sword-dueling is optional
We were greeted as we came in the door by the owner, who was muy attentive to us throughout the meal.  He even aerated Fearless Leader's wine for him, so he didn't have to worry about straining his wrist.
Is that a look of worry? 
Now, since none of us have been to Cuba, it is hard to say how authentic the food was.  If my Cuban-Saudi daughter from Bahrain had been there, she might have been able to tell us.  It was delicious, but not as spicy as I was hoping (have I mentioned before that I love spicy food?  Oh yes, yes I do).
Mad Science started with this salad.  Colorful and flavorful.  I have a feeling this could have made a whole meal.
Domestic Goddess LOVED her Cuban sandwich (aka, ham and cheese).  She ate half of it, and asked the rest be packed up for her son.  Then when our order got a little screwed up and another one came out, she told them to pack that one up, too.  Lunch tomorrow = sorted.
I love black beans, so I ordered the black bean soup first.  It was drizzled with olive oil, which was a pleasantly surprising combination of flavors.  I always associate olive oil with Greek cooking, and to an extent, Italian and Arabic.  But this was lovely, too.
This post has a LOT of pictures, because the food was really beautiful (and maybe because I encourage people to fight over whose food will be in the blog...I have left out Fearless Leader's heart-shaped carrot just to spite him for being so mean to me).  Here are a couple of dishes that Five split with Engrish (who usually shares with PE but has revealed herself to be fickle).  Several people agreed that Five had the best main dish.
I, on the other hand, spent a long time after my soup drinking my coke and staring at an empty plate.  It happens to us all, at one point or another - everyone gets a turn to be the one whose food got forgotten.  It's inevitable when you have a group of eight people ordering.  Life goes on, and eventually my Sunday chicken rice dish showed up.
I haven't been such a fan of rice since I was an ignorant yokel just learning about Chinese food.  I'm blaming this on Five, who, in true Filipina fashion, believes that no meal is complete without it.
Guantanamera also has a small but killer selection of desserts.  I opted for the pumpkin flan, which had a subtle sweetness.  Domestic Goddess chose to finish her dinner off with this coffee thing (yes, I use the word "thing" a lot - you try remembering the names of all the dishes eight people order!)  Engrish went for coffee, too, but had rum in hers...lots of rum.  Which hopefully means that she's not upstairs unable to sleep.


  1. Hi.
    Did u find the ORGIL RASHAAN at the store?

  2. Hi Chinges - No, I haven't had the chance to look for it yet. Usually I'm healthy as a good old Mongolian horse, but I've got it filed in my brain, and may have to take some with me when I travel this summer.

  3. Hi.

    That is good idea. I always take several of them when I travel to somewhere. By the way I saw you today in UB. Where r u going to travel this summer?