Getting to Know Honduras at Adelita's
I also got to know owner Adela Alcantara and my waiter, Carlos Hernandez, on a more personal level. Their stories swept to the side the thought of judging food, as I grew more and more inspired. Alcantara came to the States in the 1982 after a hurricane that year caused famine, political problems, and ultimately her unemployment. She sought to find a better future for her family. Coming here with a government visa, she soon satisfied the small Honduran community's demand for home-style cuisine by opening a coffee shop in North Miami in 1985. Adelita's in midtown soon followed. The menu is totally Honduran; she sources her ingredients from her homeland.
Alcantara says the U.S. government should pass a more liberal immigration law for economic reasons. Undocumented immigrants spend a lot on consumer goods such as TV sets and airplane tickets. It's only practical to grant amnesty.
Waiter Carlos Hernandez tells a humbling tale. The voyage from Honduras to the States through Mexico was, his words, "una odisea" (an odyssey). When Mexicans see Central Americans, Hernandez says, it's like fish they have to catch. It took the waiter three tries to get here; he encountered robbers, corrupt police, and vigilant immigration officers on his way.
One night, robbers with machetes forced him to strip down and watch his friend get raped. It was a horrible experience, he says. Hernandez's story makes me thankful I live in a safe, prosperous country. I hope it does the same for you.
2699 Biscayne Blvd., Miami