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Spicy Cuban Black Bean Soup

I’m dying to go to Cuba. I know a lot’s changed since its heyday of the early 20th century. But it would seem to be somewhat of a time capsule, preserved from American developers who would have no doubt built up Havana into a Vegas-like tourist trap over the last 60 or so years.

Still, it’s nice to think of the bygone glitz and glamour of smoky Havana night clubs. Hedonism. Loud music. Dancers in frills upon frills. Women in silk dresses and pin curls. Men in linen suits with pomade-styled hair. A tropical escape for American mobsters and a playground for the social elite of the lost generation. It’s rather enchanting to think about despite the not-so-enchanting Castro-era realities.


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However, now that Americans can once again travel to Cuba I would love to get a glimpse into Cuban culture today, along with the remnants of years past. The cars. The architecture. The food culture. The music. The tropical climate. Before America builds it up into high-rise resorts, I want to see what the culture is truly about. I hate to be so down on the U.S., but the reality is that we’ll commercialize the hell out of it given the chance.

Perhaps 2017 will be the year for me to explore.

In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming that I’m in a Cuban nightclub, dressed to the nines, eating a little something like this:


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A little over 1,100 miles from Havana, here in D.C., I am all about Cuban restaurants, lately. Based on what I’ve seen locally, Cuban food feels like soul food. It’s decadent. It’s celebratory. It’s definitely satisfying.


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As it’s pouring with rain on this unseasonably cold day, some soul food is in order. On today’s menu:

  • Spicy Cuban black bean soup
  • Saffron lime rice
  • Fried plantains
  • Fresh avocado

A perfect flavor combo for rainy days and Cuban trip planning.

Have a happy Sunday, all!


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Meet Liz

Liz Samet

My name is Liz and this site is where I share my culinary and travel adventures. You’ll find my original recipes, restaurant obsessions and written ‘snapshots’ of memorable moments of the most incredible places on Earth. I'm a travel addict and a food fanatic, and I'm not ashamed.