The caramel of cheeses

Have you ever had this stuff?!?!?!?!
This is honestly the caramel of cheese. Here is a very brief wiki on it. Matt had this up in Lacey with his family over the Christmas holiday. He insisted that we get it here. I thought it would take a while to find, but they had it in the fancy cheese section at Baker's. Sigh. I guess that meant we had to get it. I was hesitant because the only way Matt would ever describe it to me was "different." I asked what it tasted like..."different." Texture..."different." Nothing more than that. It wasn't because he was trying to be mysterious or anything but simply because it is, well, very different. If I had to describe the taste, it truly is the caramel of cheese. Slightly sweet & incredibly smooth. It almost melts in your mouth. Just like a good caramel. And really it is made sort of as caramel is - boiled down something else; in this case, that something else is whey (the product left over from milk when you make cheese). If you have yet to, go get some now. Don't let the color turn you away. It is the color of caramel!!!!! And get a solid but neutral cracker for it. Such as wheat thins. The cheese by itself may be a little too different for you otherwise. 

As with many things/place to eat in life, Matt and I tend to gravitate towards deals. I love trying new places, but I usually need some sort of swift kick in the rear to go outside of my cuisine comfort zone. When a Groupon popped up for this place this past fall, I jumped on it. Sadly, we had yet to go, and it was on the verge of expiring. Having read many reviews, we decided to go on a Sunday when our opinions wouldn't be tainted by a noisy crowd. In typical Omaha fashion, this place is in an unassuming strip mall, faded awning, almost sketch looking from the outside. Inside, you are greeted warmly with almost tiki-esque decor. Bamboo, fake thatched roofs. Cutesy. We were a little early for the dinner crowd but it still took them a while to notice us at the door. After seated, our drink orders were taken quickly, and we, of course, had to get mojitos. The Groupon included 2 of these, an appetizer, and 2 entrees. We tried to order the papa rellenos, but they were out :(...yet it seemed the table next to us (seated after ourselves) seemed to be able to get some. :( We ended up ordering something else very middle of the road - not too outside of my comfort zone. The mojitos came out pretty quickly - likely because it was a Sunday. These aren't your typical over sweetened, over minted mojitos. They packed a punch, and had we been paying for them, we really would have gotten our moneys worth. For dinner, Matt ordered one of their many sandwiches with fries; I got a shredded brisket with mushrooms, onions, and wine sauce. My sides included black beans, plantains, and rice. Matt's sandwich was HUGE and tasty but slightly on the dry side. The fries were a little soggy. My entree was on the smaller side but the taste was amazing. The onions and mushrooms were cooked well and blended seemlessly with the brisket. Only two downsides to my entree: 1. brisket was slightly dry yet there was a ton of oil in the bottom of my dish. 2. The size for the price you paid (outside of Groupon of course) was a little small. The sides were great. My love affair for black beans continues, and these erally hit the spot - slightly smokey and not overcooked. Service was slow but very kind. They tried to actually talk to us like people and not just customers. While this was my first adventure in Cuban food, I can safely say that my mind is now open to trying more.

Service: sub-par. I have come to expect this, however, from family run places. I just can't imagine how slow things would have been on a busy night
Cleanliness: even though it had an island feel, it was a clean island :D
Ambiance: very relaxed. Friday and Saturday they have live music. I am sure it gets loud in there
Menu: Wide selection of sandwiches and decent selection of entrees. 
Taste: Great. Some textures were a little off and dryness was a bit of an issue, but everything tasted amazing
Overall: I would say...4. For lunch only though I think. As I said above, the price for the size of the entrees isn't quite worth it for me. The sandwiches are a great deal though...just no fries 

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