Southbound Zigzag

[a day old – just got internet access]

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before: out over the Pacific this morning – Atlantic this afternoon (layover in Miami), and southbound out over the Pacific again on the way to Quito. I guess it’s a bit easier down where Central America gets all skinny.

Anyhow. Had two hours in Miami to feed and exercise the kids. And to check up on whether Ricardo’s opinions are really infallable.

Ricardo is the director of the Launch Team. “Launch Czar”, I think his official title is; his desk is one wall over from mine. He is a tall black man and has a soft Jamaican accent. He also has many opinions. The scary thing is that, when he shares them with you, I’ve yet to find him wrong about one.

Yesterday, when I grabbed my bag on the way out, Ricardo and I waved our respective farewells and he wished me a good flight to Ecuador. I let on that I wasn’t going all the way that day, and related my south-east-southwest zigzag.

“Hmmm… Miami. Better get some good Cubano food while you’re there.”

Sorry – wasn’t going to be a chance; we weren’t leaving the airport. Had a two-hour connection through MIA.

“That’s okay. La Carreta, on Concourse D, between Gates 37 and 39.”


“Trust me.”

That’s all he needed to say. “Trust me” is for when Ricardo is speaking ex cathedra.

We got into MIA on time, and had the expected number of minutes to kill. Also a couple of kids. No, we weren’t seriously contemplating killing them, but with the I’ve-been-sleep-deprived-caffeinated-and-cooped-up-on-a-plane behavior they were giving us, the thought did cross our minds more than once (in fairness, we probably would have just left them in Miami).

Anyhow, once we’d gotten them filled with pizza and sent them up and down the stairs about 20 times, they settled in with books and iPod, and I was free to pursue my little quest.

To be fair, I had no idea I was looking for “La Carreta, on Concourse D between Gates 37 and 39.”  He’d given me a name, a concourse and a couple of gates, but I was scrambling to make sure I’d packed enough USB cables and whatever, and the details never managed to set up lodging in my long term memory.

But I’ve always trusted my luck for stuff like this, and haven’t died for it yet, so off I set. We were in the small “E” concourse spur, and F looked promising. But you can’t get there without going our and back through security, so I backtracked to the interminable featureless walkway that led backwards to Concourse D. Wall-followed to a likely-looking nexus and caught the scent of pulled pork and savory rice. “La Carreta” it was.

Is this the place? Summoned the magic Google box in my pocket([miami concourse D food]), and the first result was a one-box entry for La Carreta: 5 out of 5 stars – remarkable Cubano food in the least likely of all places: Concourse D of the Miami airport.

Ordered a to-go box of Arroz Imperiale – yellow rice, chicken and steamed veggies doused in a hot, heavy cream sauce. Damn good. Brought it back and even shared some with Devon.

Chalk one more up for Ricardo’s infallability. Now I just need to remember to ask him how to deal with overcaffeinated kids…

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