Multiple identity crisis

“Hey, let’s go to lunch at that Cuban place,” a prospective dining companion said to me the other day. “Cuban place? What Cuban place?” I asked. “Habanero,” she answered. I’d always thought of Habanero as a kinda sorta gourmet Mexican restaurant, but I didn’t say anything, because she was buying. Turns out we were both right. It’s a Cuban restaurant and a fancy Mexican restaurant. And a Caribbean restaurant. And a Brazilian restaurant. The basic rule of thumb here is that if it’s cooked and eaten in the vicinity of Central America, it’s eligible for the Habanero menu. My past favorite entrée has always been the wild mushroom chili relleno, with fresh, fire-roasted poblano chilies (un-battered, yes!), but this time I went for the jerk chicken, which proved to be a spicy, charbroiled original take on the Jamaican specialty. It was so dang good, I’m now telling people to go to Habanero, that Jamaican restaurant down near the corner of 21st and J streets. They seem to know where I mean.