In all the many years I've been going to Kuba Kuba, I have gotten the exact same dish every single time (the mussels in Tasso ham and cilantro broth).
It's not just that I've been called a creature of habit, but it's such a wonderful combination of flavors that I was sure I'd regret not ordering it, so I just always did.
On one occasion when I ate there alone and didn't mention it to my then-boyfriend, George, I was found out.
The next day we were out taking a walk together in the hot sun and he started sniffing me.
"You went to Kuba Kuba last night, didn't you? I can smell it in your sweat." Such is the distinctive flavor of that dish.
Why do I tell you this?
Because at lunch today at Kuba Kuba I ignored the mussels and had the Kubanaso sandwich, consisting of Roasted Pork, Smithfield Ham, Chorizo, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on hot pressed Kuban bread.
I know, I know, not very mussels-like, but huge, filling and with enough varieties of pig to satisfy a much bigger person than me.
So good, in fact, that I didn't give those mussels a second thought.
Naturally, I chose the bar stool nearest the kitchen to watch the action and was rewarded with conversational cooks.
The three of us were at a loss as to why it wasn't busier.
I was told that Fridays are always busy, rain guarantees a busier than usual lunch and yet there were at least six empty tables and four bar stools free when I arrived at 12:30, normally prime time.
It worked out well for me because I got plenty of talk from these guys, while watching them effortlessly turn out food.
As it turned out, I also had a direct connection when one of them insisted on taking my order, completely bypassing my server.
When he was plating my sandwich, though, two of the sections of it collapsed on the way to the plate.
He looked sheepish about it, so I reassured him that I was the last person to care about something so inconsequential. He handed it over with an enormous smile on his face.
I'm guessing he enjoyed the company, too, because as I was leaving, he said, "Have a good day, Beautiful."
That was my dessert.