On Saturday morning, MKH and I met up with Tere at Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho in Miami. For those not familiar with Versailles, it is considered the "Plymouth Rock" of the exile community in Miami. This is where political debates about the current state of "la isla" merge seamlessly with the lip-smacking yumminess of chickencroquetas and empanadas de carne.
The reason for our early morning tête-à-tête? The guys from Freshbooksextended an invitation to Tere to be a part of their Roadburn 2008 RV Tour. Saul and Eammon are one half of the four man Canadian crew traveling from FOWA in Miami, to SXSW in Austin. They decided they wanted to meet bloggers along the way and document the meetings on their site. Tere extended the invitation to MKH and myself, and we loved the idea.
We settled in at a long table in the back of the restaurant. The size of the table is relevant as it was quickly filled with baskets of tostada Cubana, pastelitos, croquetas, papas rellena, café con leche, and watermelon and sugarcane ("guarapo") juice. The look on the waiters face as he read the order back to us (in Spanish, no less) was priceless.
After a round of quick introductions, we settled into a conversation about the intricacies of Cuban cuisine, the state of current Cuban politics, and what it’s like to grow up as children of the exile. We also analyzed why Fidel Castro would find it necessary to have his name embroidered on his Adidas track suit. I reasoned that it could be the same idea behind microchipping your dog. You know – "If found, please return to…"
It was a great morning, with delicious food and lively conversation. And thank you, T., for inviting us to join you.
(Photo courtesy of MKH.)