There are many unique styles and tastes that make up our community. That’s no great discovery, but investigating Laz’s Cuban Cafe was a great discovery.
This eatery that got its start as a food truck has been on my short list of places to check out since they opened their brick-and-mortar store in December. Located in the Northbrook Village near the intersection of Lima and Dupont roads, Laz’s can be found between Copper Canyon and Arena Bar & Grill in the space formerly occupied by Pastor’s Place.
When I finally found time to check out this spot, I was captivated by a massive counter with sweets and appetizers the minute I walked in.
But what really got me was the oversized mural depicting life on the streets of old Havana. It took my breath away. It shows dancers, guitar-strumming musicians, and a lone chicken rambling about. You also see old guys playing dominoes. By the way, the domino theme is repeated throughout the restaurant. The cars and architecture made me wonder what life in pre-Castro Cuba must have been like in 1951.
On the other side of the dining room is the prep area. The oversized menu board is packed with descriptions of sandwiches, entrees, appetizers, and pastries. I knew that even a bad decision would be a good one with all the options here.
I went for the full experience and let the staff make recommendations. The prep guy told me Cuban food is about the flavors. I was later told it’s a mix of Spanish, African, and Caribbean tastes. Unlike other Latin American countries like Mexico where food is hinged on spicy concoctions, Cuban food is all about the flavor.
I landed on the Cuban sandwich, a mix of pulled pork, Serrano ham, and Swiss cheese topped with pickles and mustard. I also grabbed guava and cheese pastels that reminded me of a strawberry turnover and an Iron Beer cream soda. I am not a big pop drinker, but I grabbed a second can.
It’s spacious with authentic tastes and scenes. The atmosphere is huge to me; I don’t want to feel rushed, but I also want to feel like I can’t be lost in my world for too long. I don’t want to miss what’s going on.
Without trying, I got turned on to a world I was not that familiar with. And you know what? That’s the point of why we eat. Food is an art worth investigating.
I can’t wait to try more of their dishes, especially the ample amount of desserts. It’s a comfortable, relaxed environment with a staff that introduces new flavors.
Pita Way coming to Jefferson Pointe
A Michigan-based restaurant is planning to expand to Fort Wayne.
Pita Way, with 26 locations mostly in Detroit and Lansing but also a couple in Ohio and Tennessee, wants to operate from the former Chipotle at Jefferson Pointe.
The chain, which started in Clarkston, Michigan, in 2010, is built around Mediterranean dishes.
There is no word on a projected opening date yet.
The company says their food is delicious, convenient, and affordable. According to their website, Pita Way’s founder, Brandon Bahoura, based his menu on the family favorites he enjoyed growing up.
Seafood boil at Oakwood Resort
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend with a Cajun Seafood Boil on Sunday, Sept. 2, from 1-4 p.m. at the Oakwood Resort in Syracuse.
Sitting on the shores of Lake Wawasee, it’s a perfect place to enjoy what is left of the summer.
The event will include Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and wine samples.
The meal is $65 per person. Reservations are required. Call (574) 457-7100 to save your spot.
East of Chicago reopens dining room
For the first time since the pandemic, East of Chicago Pizza in Leo-Cedarville has reopened its dining room.
The pizzeria has operated at 11119 Grabill Road since the late 1990s.
There is no word on when their pizza buffet is coming back. The only response has been, “Not yet.”
KFC completes renovations
The KFC at 3816 E. State Blvd. is open again. The fast-food restaurant had been closed for a significant portion of the summer for renovations.
Off the Eaten Path is the Whatzup weekly column that covers Northeast Indiana’s restaurant and food news. Send your news items to firstname.lastname@example.org.