It’s possible that I have a soft spot for this restaurant because it’s owned and operated by the Fernandez family and hey - my maiden name is Fernandez! Alas there’s no familial connection so I can’t claim the family discount. What I can do is enjoy food reminiscent of that prepared by my mother. Cuban food and Puerto Rican food are very much alike. So when I order the chicken and rice I can almost hear my mother calling me to the table. Foolish little girl that I was I never did partake in mama’s black beans. It wasn’t until I was 40 years old that my Italian husband convinced me to try his black beans and wowza I fell in love with them. These days I am in charge of black beans at our house as I have perfected them through the years, and every now and then I look up into the sky and say “sorry mama I should have eaten your beans when I had the chance”. La Septima’s black beans and yellow rice are great.
Salad is served on a vintage wrought aluminum plate – these are lovely and I’m reminded of similar serving pieces laid out on my family table. I still own three pieces inherited from a favorite aunt and employ them for special family dinners. They make me smile.
Although I usually order one of the traditional menu items, tonight we both decided to go for the special: Bacon wrapped sirloin with a skewer of four large shrimp served with La Septima’s awesome yellow rice. For $12.99 it was a terrific value and better yet, it was delicious. My one disappointment was that the bacon wasn’t crisp and we set it aside. However, it had served to impart its flavor into the meat and so I forgave the lack of crispness.
I resisted the temptation to order flan for dessert but if you're so inclined do give it a try when you go. It's very good with a cup of café con leche. Of course its no where near as good as my beloved Tia Graciela's legendary flan. Thankfully her recipe lives on with her namesake daughter Grace and if the family asks/begs/pleads with her enough she will make it for us. La Septima's is a close second.
The service here is very good. Our waitress Desire was attentive and efficient, quick to refill hubby’s soda or my wine and even mama Dahlia swooped in to bus our table as soon as our last bite was taken. If I have one complaint it’s that we were sitting on the end aisle along the servers’ station and it felt a little obtrusive for the owner and six servers to be standing two feet behind hubby’s back having a mini meeting about how to lay out tables for a big party. I feel they should have moved to the back for that meeting.
We were treated to some beautiful Spanish guitar music by a talented young man sitting near the front bar and that just added to the atmosphere. All in all it was a great dining experience and we will definitely be back soon.
702 West Lumsden Road, Brandon FL 33511
Phone: (813) 685-0502