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July 01, 2009

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Comments

Mark H

I'm not one to boycott things for political reasons, but I'm not sure I can eat at a restaurant that hangs a picture of Fidel Castro in honor.

Will

Post-Symposium they don't have a high hurdle to clear but with more of a focus on "revolution" than "restaurant" I'm anxiously awaiting food reviews.

KW

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. In it's place, we will be showing you ESPN.

Get the food right, everything else is a distant second. First and foremost, I'm looking for normalized relations between me and your Cuban sandwich.

The Gourmez

Hanging a portrait doesn't necessarily mean that the person portrayed is being given a place of honor. I'd think doing so, from what seems to be Morabito's perspective, only means that it will be a conversation starter. I'm excited to try this place and even more excited for late night kitchen hours.

Early Bird

For what it's worth -- I was there last night and loved the Cuban sandwiches. Nice addition to Durham.

Lee

I'm all for the addition of successful restaurants in Durham, but I'm afraid I might choke on my ropa vieja if the decor involves the face of Che Guevara. Very mixed on this one. There is so much pain and terror behind these people. Not unlike certain US leaders. Maybe I'll get over it and join the 'conversation.' I doubt it though.

CitizenSpain

Thanks for helping me a score an invite to last night's shindig, BCR. My wife and I had a swingin' time. The food was tasty enough to give the place another shot, the Cuban sandwich and ropa vieja being standouts. I can definitely see this place becoming a popular summertime hangout, especially during baseball season. Great warm-weather food and atmosphere.

GreenLantern

Oh give me a break. I guess we're all too young to remember how "good" things were for the people under Batista. He was a good friend of the mafia and the communist party, violently put down student protests and skipped town with over $700 million worth of cash and fine art. Why do we assume Cuba would have been better off than Haiti had become under Duvalier?

I haven't been to the restaurent yet, although I'm looking for more authentic homestyle cuisine rather than just admiring the ubiquitous "Cuban sandwich"

TSQ75

as a Cuban American, I'm not offended by the imagery, any hurt i feel is not attached to pieces of pop art. But as a durhamite, i'm just kida turned off by the over-the-top aspect, and over-priced menu.

I'm glad he's clarified that this is "cuban fusion" because the last thing i would want is for anyone walking in there to think the place and its food and its prices represents the Cuban culture, and cuban food.

I personally only know 2 Cuban Americans in Durham, and of course there may be more, but according to the Independent Weekly, they're all in Raleigh...lol

Having said all that, I'm not going to sit here and be against the place. This is a diverse town with diverse tastes, and everyone deserves a place where they enjoy going, even if I may not. So I wish Mr and Mrs morabito the best of luck in our city, I hope they enjoy it, and I hope Cuban Revolution serves its purpose to everyone who enjoys it, comes out for a broadway show, business lunches, late night drinks..

Buen Provecho, y'all

Ben Greene

Had the roast pork sandwich and a mojito just a few minutes ago! The sandwich was delicious - good size, well-balanced, very good bread. I recommend getting it with the mojo. The mojito was also very good, albeit a tad bit overpriced. The service was fairly attentive, but the kitchen was a somewhat slow, as to be expected on opening day. Nevertheless, all in all, a thumbs up!

Mark H

I wonder what people would say if some of the Italian places like Pop's or Tosca's put up a picture of Mussolini...

Betty

The Cuban sandwiches may be delicious, but the *kitchy* side of Che turns my stomach.

Robert Vaughn

Some may think that $7.25 is "overpriced" for a sandwich, but I'm afraid CR's ATC neighbor Tyler's just raised some of their sandwiches to a whopping $9.09 (while changing their menu to resemble TGIFriday's). With ubiquitous "free soft drink" coupons for CR floating around ATC, I'll be happy to enjoy $9-10 lunches during the week instead of dropping the $13-15 that Tyler's was getting from me.

Page McCullough

Regarding the Malcolm X mural: durham was home to Malcolm X University in 1969.

http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/theses/available/etd-07082004-012843/

Myles

Any establishment that hangs portraits of Che Guevara will never have its doorstep darkened by me. Guevara was a brutal, bloodthirsty thug and tyrant who murdered thousands, including hundreds of homosexuals and blacks, whom he despised.

Y'all enjoy those mojitos, now!

Freddie

You know, people are just WAY TOO SENSITIVE in America...It's TRUE. It's almost like people are always wanting to get offended by something. People look to get offended.

Get a life and grow some open mindedness! It makes life so much more enjoyable...

CEP

I think a Moussolini portrait in Pop's or Tosca would be AWESOME!

paytonc

I once survived a conference in Providence thanks to their banana-espresso shakes. Hope this location will have the same!

Fluu Tang

I wonder how the Nathan Bedford Forrest Fajita or the Hitler Hoagie tastes? I guess one man's Cheney Cream Pie is another man's Pol Pot Pie. I guess it's cute and harmless to some but me, personally, I don't have a taste for it.

J

Went there for lunch today. Cuban Sandwich was AMAZING.

Really though, everyone calling this place a communist hangout needs to get over their inflated opinions of themselves and just enjoy the place - good luck to the Cuban Revolution in Durham!

James

For those of you who believe Che to be a cool "conversation starter," you should know some of his thoughts.

The Negro is indolent and lazy, and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent. —Che Guevara

Enjoy your meal...

Vincent Marzullo

bring on the Cuban grits and wieners

EB

sad, very sad.
That an establishment that glorifies hatred of gays, blacks, human rights and all the freedoms we enjoy in the USA, a place that honors those that have murdered thousand, imprisoned even more, destroyed so many families and despises everything America stands for, would be supported by even the most insensitive of citizens in Durham. The names of the local politicians that were entertained on the grand opening night should be made public! Yes there are many Cubans living in Wake and Durham, we may not stand out, but are still easier to spot than a communist. And you wont be spotting us at the Cuban Revolution!! As for the food, this place is as typical Cuban as McDonalds is typical American home cooking. If you want some Cuban food, please visit Havana Grill in Cary, its the closest to Miami's cuban food you can get(you wont see tortillas or quesadillas. If anything this place will serve to educate and eventually this place will close.

JMG

Only the "useful idiots" (Marxist tools)of the Triangle would pay homage to Castro and the blood thirsty Che. As you enjoy your Fidel sandwich just think about all the people that died because of those two. Think about all those political prisoners rotting away in jails. Think about all the families that have been torn apart. Think about a people that were forced out of their own country with barely the clothes on their backs. Think about how fortunate you are to live in the greatest country in the world. Is a sandwich worth turning your back on all those people? Is this what progressive is? I hope this never happens to your families even though you don't care that it happened to ours...and please don't tell us to "get over it".

Madelaine

The American in me is way more offended than the Cuban in me.

This is the "trivia" colorfully scattered on their menu:

US Killed 58,177 Vietnam war
US Killed 36,940 Korean war

“...it has an almost cult following.”

“Whoever stops to wait for
ideas to triumph among the
majority of the masses before
initiating action will never be
a revolutionary." FIDEL”

As an American, doesn't it concern you that the Cuban Revolution's mission statement considers these statements as "inspirational"?

How about an "Osama Bin Laden Wrap"? Would that be controversial enough? I will give you a thought for REAL controversy - stand up and say "not in my backyard"!!!!!!

TSQ75

I wont lie, it hurts my heart to see it glorified. I've lost family, both literally and figuratively, to that revolution...but i'm also here because of it.

I find it bizarre that people are ready to take on the Cuban Revolution as a pop culture theme. Fidel isnt even dead (supposedly) the island isnt even free, it wasnt even a real revolution, it was a sad sad attempt that became the very establishment it wished to overthrow.

so there you are, Revolution=Establishment ergo Cuban Revolution is merely an "Establishment."


Honestly, all I care about is that people not be duped into thinking its real, or that enough time has passed where its ok to make light of it...people are still suffering for it, decades later...and their honest food is still made in real everyday kitchens.

but if you go in not buying into the hype, in taking it for what it is, overpriced bar and cuban-esque food...well, there ya go

Caña d'Azúcar

Oh, please...it's just a fledgling restaurant with a kitschy angle. Its success will be dependent on market forces.

So, yeah, if you don't like it, if you're offended by its propaganda, or if you're just cranky, don't go.

It's not like all you anti-Castro, pro-USA types did anything to help the former tenant (an apparently made in the USA local purveyor of sub-par food).

While you're at it, why bother bitching on BCR when you should take it up with the big man at the ATC, and a pro-family/America guy to boot, Jim Goodmon?! I bet ol' Jesse Helms would not have stood for the owner of his former ranting grounds to host these pro-Commie restaurateurs.

TSQ75

:|

Erik Landfried

@Cana - Here's why I'm glad people are "bitching" on BCR: I am not Cuban-American and I would have known that a restaurant named "Cuban Revolution" would have been so offensive to many Cuban-Americans.

Normally, I would have been very interested to try out a new restaurant in downtown Durham, but my interest has waned mostly because of the reaction of Cuban-Americans that have written things on this blog and those that I have spoken to in person.

If the fact that people of Cuban descent are wildly offended by a purportedly CUBAN-style restaurant is uninteresting to you, fine. I find it very interesting and it's something I would not have known about if people had just written Jim Goodmon.

Isn't this type of discussion the whole point of a forum like this?

Sandra

Reading these posts is interesting. It seems to me that some small portion of the local Cuban American community has decided to wage a smear campaign against this new restaurant. How sad. I wonder how many of their families were part of the ruling dictatorship that existed before Fidel and were in part responsible for the atrocities committed on their fellow countrymen. I haven't been to the Cuban Revolution Restaurant as of yet, but I won't let an organized effort by Bush/Cheney types deter me from going. Viva La New Restaurant.

Kevin Davis

While I'm not taking sides on this one... you know, a part of me can't help but wonder whether this whole name thing is part of getting name recognition and awareness out there.

TSQ75

Sandra...you couldnt be more wrong. the the Cuban Bush/cheney lovers are in South Florida.

My family was poor that's why they left.

Kevin...i'm betting you're right, and i'm sorry that open honest discussion leads to it.

EB

Excuse me please, but most Cubans in NC came from S.Fl. Some Bush/Cheney lovers others die hard Dems or indi. No matter, many see/feel disgust over this establishment for just one reason, what it represents. plain and simple. Many in the US may not live and breath the pain their parents and grandparents had to endure, passed on from generation to generation. I know I do and will ensure that my children know it as well. I wont be intimidated or made to feel embarrassed for what I know is true. For what is happening right this second. In Cuba today, a Cuban who rolls a cigar cant enjoy a smoke, one who picks the beans cant take a sip. Some have not seen coffee in years, rice in months. no milk after age 3.How could you enjoy a sandwich named Fidel? Why did Mr. Morabito not stay or return to Cuba, if all that is there now, thanks to the revolution, is so great. Why, because he would not have the freedom to open his own business. and would be rotting(if he survives the beatings) in jail if he hung a picture of anyone opposing the government. what really is troubling is that so many are ignorant.


DR

I cannot attend and eat at a restaurant that glorifies the death and destruction of my country. Mr. Morabito should live like a Cuban does in Cuba and go through the oppressions that the great Cuban Revolution offers, such as oppression of speech, press and religion. After he suffers what the Cuban community has suffered maybe he would think twice about opening such a "controversial restaurant".

GreenLantern

Every time I read a post about some Cuban American up in arms about the name and theme someone chose for their restaurant, as a matter of free speech and expression, I'll just have to make another trip to this establishment.

I like to think I've kept up with international politics over the years, and how easily Cuban exiles mostly living in S. Florida have become so politically powerful. Two of their representatives in the US House, Ileana Ross Lehtinen, and Lincoln Diaz-Balart are regulars on CSPAN when it comes to topics such as relaxing trade and travel to Cuba. It's often hard to listen to them because they get so angry, shouting at anyone who opposes their agenda. Diaz-Balart reminds me of the Rev. Ian Paisley of the Ulster Unionists, or Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. You can't have a reasoned discussion with these people without getting shouted down or threatened with terrorist action.

For Pete's sake, sometimes a restaurant is just a restaurant.

If you're one of those ANGRY Cuban Americans, just stay away. The rest of us can pick up a history book and make up our own minds without getting shouted at or being called a heretic.

MGR

If the restaurant is anything like the real Cuban Revolution- customers would stand in line for hours, when arriving at the front of the line there desired meal would no longer be available, and when the bill arrived it would be 50% of their monthly salaries. Shame on you Morabito!

Erik Landfried

Imagine if there were a new Italian restaurant that no Italian-Americans worked at or went to because the cuisine was so inauthentic and they served a dish called Mussolinguini. Does that sound enticing to anyone? If Italian-Americans let their feelings be known about this place, would we dismiss those opinions instantly as many seem to have done here?

I think the answer is probably yes, but the reaction would have been much more muted.

The difference here is that this isn't Italy we're talking about, it's Cuba. Americans aren't allowed to visit Cuba unless they jump through some hoops or go via other countries. And since many Americans can't seem to get past that teenage sense of rebellion, this air of mystery about Cuba only serves to fascinate ordinary Americans even more. I think some Americans are almost awed by Castro because he has managed to maintain a Communist regime mere miles from the Florida coast (What audacity! And we can't go there? I hear they still drive cars from the 1950s. And the world's best cigars! So cool!).

By the way, this commentary does not apply to folks who are genuinely interested in Cuban history, culture, etc. - I'm just talking about the average American.

Mr. Morabito knows all of this and is taking full advantage of it. And it's going to work. He knows that controversy drives sales and he knows that there is enough ambiguity and ignorance about Cuba that he can pull it off in a way he wouldn't have been able to do if he opened a Cambodian restaurant and had a photo of Pol Pot on the wall.

I mean, according to some of the comments on this blog, the fact that some ANGRY Cuban-Americans in Durham take issue with elements of this restaurant will actually cause them to go to the restaurant more often! Sounds like a perfect business plan. And I'm sure many people applaud him for it.

I'm just not one of those people. I think it stinks. If folks from a place and culture that is somewhat foreign to me nearly unanimously say, "This restaurant offends me for x, y, and z reasons" I choose to listen to that and not just go the other way like the rebellious teenager. If you have read these protests and decide to go to the restaurant anyways, more power to you. At least you are making an adult decision.

But to dismiss these protests offhand - which I still claim might not have happened as much had this been a different culture or ethnicity - is simply juvenile. America is still a young country, but it's time to become adults and move beyond that way of thinking.

EB

Thank you Mr.L,your thoughts coming from a non Cuban-American are refreshing. I now have hope that the average American(you're not) will come to realize that just because something,an idea, may be popular does not make it right. And you are correct on the idea of the mystique anything Cuban has on the average American. Like the Che T-shirts that became so popular a couple of years ago. If only people would try to educate themselves before jumping on the bandwagon. How many times did I see a young African American with this shirt on. If only they knew what his thoughts were about people of color.
And to all:
PLEASE LET ME CLEAR ONE THING UP; Do not confuse Cuban-American PASSION with ANGER. WE ARE NOT angry. But offended and shocked, and not more than a person of Jewish decent that may be offended by a Jewish restaurant that glorifies Hitler. Or one of southern African-American, with white supremest symbols on the walls. We are passionate about what we believe in and we carry it in our hearts. If we were angry people, Cubans that came in the 60's would not have achieved the success that they did and their children would have been angry too and so on and so on. But Cubans are a people of unbelievable spirit,creativity and determination. They left thier circumstance behind and only looked to the futue, THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE FORGET OUR PAST AND WHERE WE CAME FROM.
We are Cuban and therefore very passionate about what we believe in, we are Americans and therefore we go with the flow. In this case, this is our flow.
This does not make me an angry person.
I leave you all with this, a quote from my very Cuban mom; To witness an injustice and just sit there and do nothing, will make you just as guilty. For your silence is acceptance.

EB

Thank you Mr.L,your thoughts coming from a non Cuban-American are refreshing. I now have hope that the average American(you're not) will come to realize that just because something,an idea, may be popular does not make it right. And you are correct on the idea of the mystique anything Cuban has on the average American. Like the Che T-shirts that became so popular a couple of years ago. If only people would try to educate themselves before jumping on the bandwagon. How many times did I see a young African American with this shirt on. If only they knew what his thoughts were about people of color.

PLEASE LET ME CLEAR ONE THING UP; Do not confuse Cuban-American PASSION with ANGER. WE ARE NOT angry. But offended and shocked, and not more than a person of Jewish decent that may be offended by a Jewish restaurant that glorifies Hitler. Or one of southern African-American, with white supremest symbols on the walls. We are passionate about what we believe in and we carry it in our hearts. If we were angry people, Cubans that came in the 60's would not have achieved the success that they did and their children would have been angry too and so on and so on. But Cubans are a people of unbelievable spirit,creativity and determination. They left thier circumstance behind and only looked to the futue, THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE FORGET OUR PAST AND WHERE WE CAME FROM.
We are Cuban and therefore very passionate about what we believe in, we are Americans and therefore we go with the flow. In this case, this is our flow.
This does not make me an angry person.
I leave you all with this, a quote from my very Cuban mom; To witness an injustice and just sit there and do nothing, will make you just as guilty. For your silence is acceptance.

EB

Thank you Mr. L. your thoughts coming from a non Cuban-American are refreshing. I now have hope that the average American(you're not) will come to realize that just because something, an idea, maybe popular does not make it right. And right on with the mystique anthing Cuban has on America. Like the Che T-shirts that became so popular a couple of years ago. Everyone wanted a shirt becuase it was "cool" and his name was easy to pronounce and spell. But they were clueless to what he represented. If only people would educate themselves before jumping on the bandwagon.
and to ALL:
LET ME CLEAR ONE THING UP. Do not confuse Cuban-American PASSION with ANGER. We are not Angry. But offended and shocked and hurt(after reading some comments)and not more than the average person of Jewish decent may feel about a Jewish restaurant that hangs pictures of Hitler and show videos of him during his days. Or one of deep south African American cuisine, with white supremest symbols on the walls and videos of the 60's racial riots. I would consider this a hate crime.
We are PASSIONATE about what we beleive in and we carry it in our hearts. Most of our parents came in the 60's and achieved success in this country, and not by being angry, but by their unbelievale spirit, creativity and determination. They left their circumstances behind and only looked to the future. This does not for a moment mean that we forgot our past and where we came from. For many generations to come, here in NC, there will be ropa vieja and black beans cooking in the kitchens. My American born daughters get offended if they are referred to as American instead of Cuban-Americans,this even when asked what part of Mexico or Canada is Cuba in.
Cuban and very passionate about what we beleive in, American and we go with the flow. In this case, this is our flow. This does not make me an angry person.
A quote from my very Cuban mom; To witness an injustice and do nothing will make you just as guilty. For your silence is acceptance.

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