Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Last Place on Earth

I think it was Mastercard that had that commercial with "the last place on Earth." I was surprised that there is a Cuban restaurant on James Island in Charleston, although I'll have to reserve judgement until I pass through again. For all I know they serve Che burgers. My friend from Mississippi informs me that in the South the ethnicity of the restaurant doesn't necessarily reflect the ethnicity of the the restaurateur. In his town the Chinese restaurant is run by a Vietnamese family, and the Japanese by a Chinese one.

Anyway, the information called to mind some unlikely places I've seen Cubiches practicing their culinary arts. In the heart of the Everglades, and I don't even mean Everglades city, even beyond there, in a little place called Chokoloskee, amidst a thicket of rusting and spiffy RV's, there is a little building on the road. About a quarter of it is a 70's wood-paneled post office; the other portion.... You guessed it a Cuban restaurant. Oh, and they don't take Master Card. In fact they don't take any cards, so you have to go back to Everglades City where the only cash machine is in the local convenience store. And if you don't feel like driving back, there's a great buffet at Captains Table in the old railroad station.

Side note: This area serves as the setting for Peter Matthiesson's Killing Mr. Watson, one of a trilogy of novels. My absolute favorite is Lost Man's River, although it's not a universal reaction to the book. I'll console myself with what the author told me as I importuned him to sign a copy for the ingrate who spurned my book, "I'm pleasantly surprised. It's my favorite, but it's the least accessible of the three." See, I have taste. The books are loosely based on historical events. That's all I'll say because I don't want to give anything away.


Nadia said...

you forgot to mention the delicious all you can eat shrimp and the repeating Beatles song playing at the Capitan's Table ;)

Anonymous said...

Listening to a "repeating Beatles song" would be enough to ruin my appetite, regardless of how delicious the shrimp.