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Dinner & a Movie

Cubanissimo Cuban Coffee

By Terri Bayus

Cuban cuisine is a passion for me and I crave it like most people crave chocolate. After a month spent in Cuba, I am even worse. I search for any Cuban cuisine. When I heard of Cubanmissio, I started stalking. First I discovered their food truck. A brightly covered van with Cuban images on the side parked in the Mind Body parking lot in San Luis Obispo (they are still there on Tuesdays for lunch). Then they opened the Café in Orcutt, and I trekked down to get a real Cuban meal. Cubanmissio is the brainchild of Arqui Trenado who is living the American dream. He is a Cuban immigrant who along with his wife, Chrystal, has brought some of the best regional cuisines of the forbidden Isle of Cuba to our shores.
The café is warm and welcoming with pictures of the real Cuba on the walls and the pleasant smell of Cuban Coffee. Our trip to Cuba last year has stuck with me like a culinary ghost, I dream of this food and coffee, I desire it. It was amazing to finally find a café that was so much like my memories. I met with Lisa Albera, my friend and face savior (she is my aesthetician at Spa Lala in Santa Maria), for she had heard me wax poetically about Cuban food and wanted to try it. I order the Cubano Sandwich, Café Expresso and a Guava Pastelitos. The Cubano sandwich consists of pork marinated in an orange, garlic and parsley zest, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and tart pickles. This is placed on Cu¬ban bread and then pressed in a Panini to sear, melt and produce a perfect s a n d w i c h . The coffee is strong, black with a hint of sugar and the Pastelitos, a guava infused hand pie, is my favorite memory of Cuba. These tiny pockets of flaky pas¬try are stuffed with the sharp paste of the guava fruit.
Lisa ordered the Cu¬ban Chorizo, which is a Spanish style dry cured s a u s a g e served over rice pilaf with a hint of saffron, peas, and carrots. Not spicy like the Mexican version of chorizo, but flavorful. We both loved the bamboo plates that later served as a to-go container for the leftovers.

Arqui came over to say “hi” and pointed out that on their last trip to Cuba, his wife took the pictures. I asked about the truck, and he said they are still running it and you could see it most Friday nights at the Santa Maria Farmers’ Market. He also told us of plans to open a Cuban Salsa club next door for dancing and nights filled with classic Cuban celebrations. I returned with Gary who was so excited to see the Café Bombónon on the menu. This sweet concoction stole his soul in Havana. It is Cuban espresso served with sweetened condensed milk, and he paired it with two sweet treats from the bakery case. The Guava Brownie is a rich, chocolate brownie with bits of guava paste and the Pastelitos have guava and cream cheese. I had a couple small plates to share of Yuca Fries and Tostones. The cassava fries are made with yucca root and served with garlic dipping sauce. The Tostones are twice– fried crunchy plantains with the same garlic dipping sauce, I also asked for a guava sauce. We then had the Moors y Christians, a delicious combination of Cuban black beans and white rice. I finished with the Croquetas, which are cheese breadcrumb rolls and are to die for. We ordered almost the same meal to go as we wanted to eat this food again as we watched the slideshow of our time in Cuba. It is worth the hike to try this authentic and perfect café.

Cubanissimo Cuban Coffee House and Cafe is located at 4869 South Bradley Road, Suite 118 in Orcutt. They are open Wednesday’s from 8:00am to 6:00pm and Thursday through Saturday from 8:00am to 9:00pm. Closed on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Find the food truck locations, on Facebook and Instagram at @CubanissimoFood¬Truck @CubanissimoCafe or call them at 844-4 CUBANO


The Happy Prince

I loved Oscar Wilde, studied and obsessed over him. But, I didn’t have a clue about Wilde’s last days. “The Happy Prince” is a tale of sadness, joy, and redemption. This was such an exciting movie, even in its inevitable sorrow. The acting was excellent, each actor delivering a completely believable naturalistic turn.

Rupert Everett was born to play Oscar Wilde, at least the older Wilde, (Everett is now 59). Everett had performed Wilde on stage, and now he has written and directed the film, “The Happy Prince,” which deals with the period after his release from Reading Gaol.
The film is about the untold story of the last days in the tragic times of Oscar Wilde. Who was a person who observed his own failure with ironic distance and regards the difficulties of his life with detachment and humor. After he was exiled to the shores of France and then further afield, he lives out his final years begging for handouts and favors from those he knows and loves. Mainly, those that hadn’t turned their back on the now disgraced writer. The best scenes and essence of the story are captured when Everett is singing, “The boy I love is up in the gallery” in a Paris music hall and when he tells the story of the Happy Prince. I love that you can physically feel the pain of a wasted and lost talent.

This is a solid biopic about Oscar Wilde, with the actor’s amazing transformation, not only physically, but also his whole mechanisms are redefined entirely. I would not be surprised if his performance as the legendary poet and playwright Oscar Wilde will actually get him Oscar attention next year. Supporting performances, especially from Colin Morgan as Bosie and Emily Watson as Constance, are excellent. The photography, particularly in the Italian sequences, is breathtaking.

“The Happy Prince” is very much Rupert Everett’s film — he scripted, plays the central role and directs. Everett has spent nearly a decade bringing his passion project to the screen, including extracting promises from friends such as Colin Firth and Emily Watson that they would appear in his film. The drive and determination behind that has got to be admired. And with all his woes, I still love Oscar Wilde. See it at The Palm and then see “Can You Forgive Me.” I love movies about writers best.

 

Teri Bayus can be reached at: livewell@teribayus.com or follow her writing and ramblings at: www.teribayus.com. Bayus also hosts Taste Buds, a moving picture rendition of her reviews shown on Charter Cable Ch. 10. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.

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