Rumba’s Cafe on a Jersey City Friday

We’re counter people, really. We like sitting thigh to thigh, watching the bustle of the service.

He ordered fried eggs with chorizo and ham. I chose the steak in sauce with yellow rice and black beans. I really wanted the goat stew or the oxtails but those are Saturday and Wednesday specials, respectively.

We sipped cafe con leche while we waited and felt the warm rush of steam and relief when the plates were delivered just a few minutes after ordering.

His boss called when the food came so he took the call outside. I didn’t have the wherewithal to wait. If I’m being honest, it was lovely to sit alone for a moment with my dish and my appetite under a blanket of Cuban music and movement. It allowed me the opportunity to really dig in with intention, without nicety.

The steak in sauce was, as expected, full of color and flavor. The sausage was scored and smoky. The bread was buttered and warm. Eggs cooked to a runny yolk, solid white finish. All in – delicious. And his breakfast came with orange juice that they squeezed right next to us. He chugged it.

At one point I grabbed a diet soda from a drink fridge in the back and without comment, a server came by with a cup, ice, and a straw. Subtle. Non-invasive. Appreciated.

The bill came to less than $20 and tomorrow is Saturday. Goat stew. Get it or regret it.

Rumba’s Cafe is located at 513 Central Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307.

Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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