I was driving down Semoran Boulevard the other day and passed a nice looking place called Cafe Caobana, so I made a u-ey and headed back to check it out.
It was nice looking on the inside, too, and in fact was bigger than I expected it to be with a spacious and tidy dining area in the back of the place. (Actually, it looked bigger because it’s well mirrored, but there were still more seats than I thought there’d be.
I arrived at just a few minutes before closing time, so not wanting to be one of “those” people, I placed my order to go. I got a tamal for an appetizer and the shredded fried beef for my entree, with white rice, black beans and tostados.
While I waited for my order to be ready I resisted the siren call from the cakes and pastries in the display cabinet. They all looked great, though.
My tamale was very good. The pressed cornmeal with bits of pork inside had just the right essence of garlic in the flavor. The beef was a tad bit on the dry side, but once the beans and rice were all added together it was all good.
The young woman behind the counter was very nice and welcoming and I don’t think she would have minded one bit if I had stayed to dine in past the closing time. (The kitchen crew might have had a different opinion.)
Cafe Caobana is at 73. S. Semoran Blvd., Orlando. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. There is no website. The phone number is 407-243-9140.