In the case of Mi Tierra, a delightful Cuban restaurant located on Ga. Highway 20, Castro's loss is Newton County's gain.
Owners William Carrerra and Mercedes Hernandez emigrated from Havana, Cuba, to the U.S. 12 years ago. After observing a decided absence of authentic Cuban cuisine in the area and attracted to the county's recent growth, the couple decided to open up their first restaurant last month.
The couple decided to name their restaurant Mi Tierra or "My Land" in English for sentimental reasons.
Speaking mostly through their translator and restaurant assistant Olga Shumate, Carrerra said the couple wanted to recreate a little piece of Cuba with their restaurant. All of the many pictures decorating the walls of Mi Tierra are from Cuba.
"Even though we are far away, we want to keep our culture," Carrerra said.
Carrerra also said that he wanted to share through his restaurant the many positive aspects of Cuban culture.
The former manager of a large tourist attraction in Havana called Marina Hemingway, Carrerra says he's always had cooking in his blood as both of his parents were chefs before him.
For those new to Cuban cuisine most Cuban meals are built around four main items: rice (yellow or white), black beans, sweet plantains and meat.
Most of the dishes at Mi Tierra are built upon that platform. Shumate recommends that new guests try the restaurant's daily Mi Tierra House Special for $5.99. It includes half of an Authentic Cuban Sandwich (ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard on Cuban bread) served with arroz Amarillo (yellow rice), frijoles negros (black beans), maduros (sweet plantains.)
The Papa Rellena (potato stuffed with ground beef and deep fried) and tostones (green plantains) are excellent starters.
Cuban sandwiches (served with fries) range from $4 to $5.75. Daily entrees are $6.99.
Main dishes, served with two sides of your choice, include Bistec de Palomilla (steak with onions), Filete de Pollo (grilled or fried chicken filet) and Filet de Pescado (grilled or fried fish filet.)
Mi Tierra also features a Kid's Menu. Carryout is available.