j. james

havana- 1957…may 13- 8:53 pm-i hear dogs barking as i run thru the alley…old speakers are blasting that classic beny more…”que bueno baila usted” and people are cheering and dancing and the general ocean wash of hundreds of voices all washed into chatter and im looking cuz there is a party somewhere. i trip over a garbage can filled to the brim with old chicken bones and other food waste and tumble headfirst thru the slats of a rickety wooden fence and the dogs have caught up to me, and feathers are flying and ive scrapped my knees and tore my favorite pants.. but oh thank god they are friendly! and now they are giving me kisses and licking the chicken off of me…good dogs!! and wouldnt ya know- i look up and somehow we have stumbled into the party!!! friendly guests help me up and dust me off and fix my hair- pulling me into the swing of things and now we are just jamming to that beny more and banging on an old bongo drum…and im dancing with some sweet seniorita but i keep seeing her out of the corner of my eye… there is this sweet older woman who keeps motioning to me to follow her thru a door which appears to be leading to a kitchen of some sorts…i dont normally go with strangers but i follow and oh the smells…garlic and olive oil and black beans in a pot and frying pork…but these are not what she wants me to see…somehow she is onto me and knows my true passion…”i know theese is not the brulee…” she says…”but perhaps is close enough?” close enough and miles beyond though not much to look at at first the cream of her enchanted flan fills my mouth- tastebuds and tearducts flood with joy and i feel the eggs in their primitive state, knowing both at once the potential that is carried in any egg, and the full realization of what an egg, whipped into shape, can become…i carry the egg in my mouth for awhile like an expectant mother…then send it down with the pride of a parent watching their little egg pass the bar exam..i know i am safe with this flan… here in this kitchen with this lovely woman such a fine cook smiling with the knowledge of those who have come before her…and her husband lights a cigar and passes it to me and we lean back in our chairs with a little rum in the bottom of our glasses and just let it be is are was were in heaven havana again.

LOG RATING-  77789987986780123777

shown here: a stock photo similar to the flan at back to cuba restaurant- nashville, tn.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 1:55 pm
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26 Responses to “back to cuba”

  1. CoolPoodle Says:

    Damn!!! We should host a brûlée-off!!! How bout that iPhone plugging in those pronunciation marks –> go iP! Seriously, dessert is my fave. Have you tried the brûlée coffee-mate? Also, the coolest owl was at the Tuesday Morning across from Ear-X. Sorry you missed it, it’s currently on it’s way to Dad in Jacksonville.

    Now stop playing around and get the album finished already!!! : )


  2. CoolPoodle Says:

    Btw — forgot to mention, some shit at the Ear-x show asked me if I was your mother!!!! He’s lucky I didn’t throw him out of the car! It must be the Taurus look…..

  3. mj Says:

    awwww im flan lover myself, not cream brulee, too sweet. after 20 yrs of study, i can say japan has the best flan! its sweetness and texture. the best!! u can easily find it at 711 in japan.

  4. ThomChristmas Says:

    flan – sweet, eggy, solidified nectar of the gods

  5. Blanca Says:

    What a great blog!!
    Next time yo come back to Europe, please, go to the famous Café de la Paix in Paris and have a CB in the tables from outside watching the Opera. You’ll cry! 🙂

  6. Jeff from Sun Studio Says:

    That looks great! We’ll have to see if you have something of that caliber down here in Memphis.

  7. Niels Says:

    If you were groovin to Beny More … you should bask in the glory of cuban doo wop – a group called Los Zafiros.

    Awesome review, I have a real hankering for some CB now.

  8. Robin Slick Says:

    Best. blog. ever.

  9. Laura O. Says:

    Oh dear lord, I adore flan. These posts are helping me dwindle down my date night restaurant options here in Nashville! Thank ya kindly.

  10. Grace's Goodness Says:

    Come to Atlanta. Go to Tierra. Order cuban coffee flan…ahhhh, perfection.

  11. Bob Says:

    Columbus Ohio has some awesome Cream Brulee!!

  12. Kathleen Says:

    Best creme brulee I ever had (and makes all other taste like pale, vapid, disappointments) was in pre-Katrina New Orleans, alas, I don’t remember the name of the restaurant. I do remember we were eating in a trellis-covered inner courtyard (French Quarter). The layer of “brulee” on top was as thick as window glass, but broke into sweet shards with a (very) determined tap from a spoon edge. And the creme below… delectable!

    I am also a dedicated flan fan. The best always seems to be in real Hispanic restaurants – good and authentic Mexican, or abroad in a Latin American country. I did have one very good version with Grande Marnier in the caramel – good, but I prefer authentic.

    Do not ever, ever, ever order the abomination served in some US restaurants called “cheesecake flan.” The worst qualities of both, and the best qualities of neither.

  13. Dan Says:

    Am I the only one who thought this review was just plain hilarious? I’m no expert in humour, but I’m pretty sure a dessert review that includes the line “and now they are giving me kisses and licking the chicken off of me…good dogs!!” is not to be taken seriously.

  14. Trza Says:

    woa, woa, woa…i thought this was a blog about brûlées. refund.

  15. Jeff Says:

    as Rachael Ray would say…Yum-O! the best CB I have ever had was in tamarindo costa rica at La Laguna del Cocodrilo. I think that it helped it was free! Look forward to reading and seeing about CB.

  16. Jim James & M. Ward Launch Crème Brûlée Blog - Stereogum Says:

    […] review the world’s freshest crème, though that doesn’t preclude flights of fan fic ala this one that is set in Havana, 1957: at first the cream of her enchanted flan fills my mouth- tastebuds […]

  17. Alex Says:

    Question: Is this website only going to cover crème brûlée, or will it cover the not-so-different crema catalana, too? Tio Pepe’s in the Village in NYC has amazing crema catalana.

  18. Tee Says:

    I had the most amazing crème brûlée-ish thing in Havana, too! In a little illegal home restaurant with three tables. It was grainy and creamy and tasted like brown sugar… So good. 10 years ago, and I never forgot it.

  19. aude Says:

    can i get the recipe i am from bretagne close to bc and your talks make me salivate may i please get the recipe for the creme held in caramel i can tell my dreams will be sweetened by the picture when do they make computer with taste ?

  20. Anne Says:

    Is this not a crème caramel? A close relaitve of both the flan and the Creme bruée, but not really one or the other. I too am on a life-long search for the perfect combination of cream, eggs and sugar – and am delighted to have found your website…

  21. Gina Says:

    Guys! You should try this one: Crème Brulée de Yerba Mate y Naranja at Patagonia, México, D.F.

    Effin’ awesome.

  22. bur-lee Says:

    Why did my search for the prefect Crème brûlée direct me to this site?? I am, but disappointed.

    Oh j.james…you silly rabbit. your writing is atrocious and you do have holes in your pants…perhaps. Me speak pretty too – but your critique is flaned because I know where the best Crème brûlée can be found….and it’s not on the page…

  23. m. gee Says:

    You guys should try the creme brulee @ Harvest in Cambridge, MA. Earl Grey creme brulee to be exact. The tea-flavored custard is great. Smoky, but not overpowering.

  24. pocahontas3182 Says:

    what is wrong with you people? can’t you read it’s more than just the CB?

  25. best coffee Says:

    Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out more details.

  26. WIN iPhone 11Pro for FREE!! Says:

    WIN iPhone 11Pro for FREE!!

    back to cuba | creme-bru-log: an online resource for critique and tastings of creme brulee from around the world!

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