Tennessee Cuban

Tennessee Cuban. These are two words you wouldn’t expect to see next to each other.

One of things we would like to experience while we travel is to try different kinds of foods. We don’t want anything too weird or exotic (like chocolate covered bugs) – but we want to try some of the things we see on TV.

We want to try ethnic foods and foods that are unusual in the way they are presented or sold. We will check out some of the locations that we’ve seen on “Man vs. Food” and “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives“. Most of these have food that is fun and not too expensive – usually a local favorite and not known much outside of their community. We use the phone app “Yelp” to find local restaurants and read the reviews posted.

When we first arrived in Tennessee we drove through the Smoky Mountains Park and saw a café that advertised Cuban food. I wondered what a Cuban restaurant would be doing in the land of Shoneys.  So we looked on YELP but that little café was not on the list. However there was another one in Maryville near where we are camped. There were mostly 5 stars reviews mentioning the Cuban sandwiches, beans and rice and authentic menu.

We decided to go there for lunch…and it was everything that the reviews said. The “Aroma Café” is run by a Cuban family who were very friendly and personable. I had a traditional Cuban and a bowl of black beans and rice. They also included a dipping sauce called Mojo. Mary had a mini-Cuban, a beef empanada and a dessert empanada that was good.

It will be interesting to find places like this that are little gems… and we may also go to Shoneys before we leave.