BAR BELLE: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up

Rumba Cafe
Where: 2443 18th St.
Cover: We’ll get to that in a moment
Dress: A flamenco costume works well
Carded: At the table

“I hope they don’t find out I’m Jewish,” I thought as I stepped through the plastic tarp that acts as the entrance way to Adams Morgan’s Rumba Caf?. Let’s call the decor behind the bar “less than subtle.” The mammoth crosses and rosary bead collections left me wondering whether to drop to my knees and say a few Hail Mary’s or start boozing. Which do you think I chose?

The thin alleyway between the bar and the wall (think Lindy’s) “expands” enough at the back of the place to fit a small stage and a few tables for those who choose to partake in the flan and baked plantains that Rumba Caf? has to offer. My friends and I ordered mojitos, a Cuban concoction made with mint leaves, lime juice and rum, opened our menus and waited for the rest of our party of seven to arrive.

The waitress was cool enough at first, in a really dumb sort of way. She seemed really excited that all of our birthdays were right near hers (Sept. 8 – which is coincidentally Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ b-day, but I digress), so we suggested free drinks to celebrate. Let me tell you, at 10 bucks a pop these mojitos better have more than mint leaves at the bottom (they didn’t – if you want a good one go to Habana Village.)

When the rest of our party arrived she realized that she “forgot” to inform us that each person dining at caf? Rumba with a reservation must spend at least $20. NOT INCLUDING DRINKS! Right. Let us do some quick math, shall we? Four mojitos at 10 bucks each plus a minimum 20 bucks is 60 bucks, and that’s before I even get drunk? I think not.

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