Our family tried the Knoxville restaurant Aroma Cafe in Maryville last week and I already can't wait to go back! The Knoxville food scene is super diverse and I love finding hole-in-the-wall spots that are super authentic. This fun little Cuban cafe is the real deal.
If you're in Knoxville, TN area I would definitely add this to your list. The empanadas were fried to perfection and had the best flavor, the papa rellena was the perfect cold weather comfort food, and the guava and cream cheese dessert empanadas were sweet without being too rich. And you can't beat the prices.
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What to try:
- Cuban Sandwich
- Beef Empanada
- Papa Rellena
- Desert Empanada
What I'm trying next time:
- Ham Croquettes
- Homemade Flan
- Cuban Coffee
Let's start with the Cuban Sandwich: ham, pork, cheese, mayo, mustard, pickles. This isn't the place to try if you're gluten free or restricting calories, but I believe in moderation and I didn't leave feeling like an over-stuffed slug...it's called balance, people! The sandwich was delicious and the portions were huge, I got to enjoy half for dinner later that night. Leftovers are my love language.
I ordered a Beef Empanada and a Papa Rellena as my side and they were both my favorite part of the meal. Delicious cuban spices and beef all wrapped in breading. What's not to love?
We tried the Guava and Cream Cheese Dessert Empanada to finish and it was just as delicious as the rest. This was Iris' favorite part, of course, she doesn't get sweets very often. The only thing missing from this dish was a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but luckily they have an ice cream shop attached to Aroma Cafe so...
My only regret is they were out of Cuban Coffee when we ordered. I really needed caffeine (what else is new) and I wanted to try it, but they were really busy during the lunch hour that day. I'll definitely be trying it when we go back!
Have you tried Cuban food before? If so, did I miss something delicious that I have to try next time? Let me know in the comments...
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