Miami isn’t one of my favorite American airports, as it’s large and unwieldy, but it does have decent food. Scouting the offerings on the internet, I found that there’s a highly-rated Cuban restaurant in Terminal D, close to my departure gate. Here it is:
I knew what I wanted: ropa vieja (“old clothes”), a shredded and stewed mess o’ beef, black beans and rice, and platanos maduros (fried bananas). And they had these things, and, as Hemingway would say, I deserved them and they were good. I added arroz con leche (rice pudding) for dessert. No Cuban coffee for me, though, as it’s very strong and I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight.
Here’s my lunch. Only $19, very filling, and inexpensive for an airport:
By the way, the Hemingway trope comes from his wonderful short story Big Two-Hearted River, in which Nick Adams, back from World War I, where he was badly wounded (as was Hemingway), goes fishing in Michigan to recover. His wartime trauma is never mentioned, only implied, which is what makes the story great. But I remember the food bit in that story: Nick backpacks to the river to fish, but takes along a can of beans and a can of spaghetti. He tells himself that if he’s willing to carry those heavy items in his pack, he deserves to enjoy them.
In honor of that story, I once mixed a can of prepared spaghetti (no meat) and a can of pork and beans and ate them. And damn if it wasn’t good!
Hemingway knew what he was about, though later he’d be eating potato salad and quaffing beer in Paris, as he describes in his book A Moveable Feast:
“It was a quick walk to Lipp’s and every place I passed that my stomach noticed as quickly as my eyes made the walk an added pleasure. There were few people in the brasserie and when I sat down on a bench against the wall with the mirror in the back and a table in front and the waiter asked if I wanted beer I asked for a distingue, the big glass mug that held a liter, and potato salad.
The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes a l’huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious. I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread with the olive oil. After the first heavy draft of beer I drank and ate very slowly.”
Hemingway didn’t write about food very often, but when he did it always gets your saliva flowing