On April 1, Gabriele Bianontes and her family took a leap of faith by leaving their home in Miami, Fla. and opening a Cuban restaurant in Dodge City. Since then, Bianontes says that her restaurant, El Tinajon, has seen a successful summer season.

“We have a few people we know here,” said Bianontes. “We heard Dodge City was a good town to grow and do everything, so we decided to move here.”

El Tinajon serves a selection of cuban cuisines ranging from $7 to $14. Some menu items include enchilada de camaron, cuban style milanese, pan-seared pulled flank steak and much more.

“Our restaurant is special because our food is different,” said Bianontes. “We don’t have anything like what there is here in Dodge, and Cuban food is very different than Mexican food. We don’t eat tortilla, it’s not spicy, it’s very natural food like peppers and onions, but not spicy."

Bianontes explained the origin behind some of the dishes they serve.

“We serve pork, we serve rice and beans separate and rice and beans together,” said Bianontes. “We have a dish of rice and beans together it’s called moros y cristiano, it’s a very big thing for us.”

Bianontes added that moros y cristiano, as well as many other pork dishes, are big for the Cuban culture and usually served around holidays.

“We’re trying to share our food with everyone here, that’s what we want,” said Bianontes. “The community, no matter who they are or where they’re from, American, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, everyone is welcome. We’re trying to do the best for everyone here.”

Bianontes, who also cooks, serves and cleans for the restaurant, expressed her passion about being able to share her culture with food.

“We think it’s best that everyone know that we’re pushing Cuban cuisine,” she said. “It’s very important that people know about Cuban cuisine and that we have healthy food.”

El Tinajon is located at 506 Avenue B Suite 2. For more information, call El Tinajon at 620-801-5105.

To contact the writer of this story, email egarcia@dodgeglobe.com.