By Wyatt Williams
The stretch of Cobb Parkway that runs along Dobbins Air Reserve Base, just south of Marietta, is lined with new car dealers, used car dealerships, car mechanics, car parts shops, and, I believe, every other style of car-related business that exists in this world. It should come as no surprise, then, that I found myself stuck in this neighborhood with a car-related errand just the other day.
I was beginning get annoyed and irritable — things were taking longer than expected — when the guy helping me at the dealership mentioned his favorite place to grab lunch: Buen Provecho on Windy Hill Road. He said whenever he missed Puerto Rico, where he’d grown up, he would head over there and grab a simple lunch plate: rice and beans, roast chicken, plantains. The food, he said, was just like what his mother would make. But, on a day when he wanted something really nice, he would splurge on a plate of mofongo.
Naturally, I told him I’d be right back.
Elmer Passapera, the owner and chef of Buen Provecho, was there working the register and serving the lunch crowd. He brought me a plate of mofongo: a heaping serving of green plantains, pork fat and oil mashed in a roughly bowl-like shape. On top, he piled strips of sautéed chicken, slivers of onions and peppers, and a rich sauce, redolent of garlic and spices. I scraped every last bite from the plate, lingering over the homey, satisfying flavors. By the time I got back to the dealership, everything had been taken care of. I’m almost looking forward to the next time I have car trouble.
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