Of the large "melting pot" cities of America, it is commonly known that New Orleans is one of the most diverse and unique when it comes to cuisine. One of the restaurants that I would like to highlight as being demonstrative of this diversity, is Liborio's, a Cuban restaurant located right in the middle of the City's Central Business District.
Perhaps their most famous dish, is "old clothes," or ropa vieja. The taste of the meat in the dish is reminiscent of the slow-cooked pot roast that Grandma started cooking before church and would serve for Sunday supper. Every tangled string of beef is richly saturated with flavors of fine red wine, hearty tomato sauce, minced garlic, and red bell peppers. Think of a delectable and amazingly tender beef brisket, in pulled pork form.
Although I have never tried the dish myself, I have heard only positive things about their moist baked chicken breast, which is stuffed with peaches and cooked in a peach and rosemary seasoned broth.
All of Liborio's dishes are rounded out with a serving of (1) steamed long-grain white rice, (2) a cup full of spice-infused black beans, and (3) sticky plantains, sugared and fried until pillowy soft, slightly gummy, and yet cloyingly delicious.
Finally, my personal favorite, is the ubiquitous Cuban sandwich, which consists of two crusty halves of French bread which are coated with a slick spread of mayonnaise and interlayered with tart pickle slices, and thin cuts of alternating ham and roasted pork. The sandwich is adhered together with melted Swiss cheese and warmed in a heated sandwich press.
I hope this brief post inspired you to out there and enjoy some Cuban food, or at least to take advantage of your local (and diverse) lunch time offerings!