Tag Archives: miami

Versailles Cuban Restaurant (Miami, FL)

If there’s one good piece of advice about dining in the greater Miami area, it’s “you can’t have too much Cuban food.” While previously dining on Cuban food twice this trip at Latin American Bayside Cafe and Puerto Sagua, I was still craving one of the classic Cuban dishes: Vaca Frita (literally “fried cow”, it’s a shredded twice-cooked flank steak heavily marinated with citrus and cooked to a crisp). However, one of the better places for a good vaca frita is Versailles Cuban, on 8th Street (Calle Ocho) in Little Habana, which was, unfortunately, a bit of a haul from our hotel in Miami Beach. Luckily, TivoCommunity.com’s EddyJ (a genuine Cuban!) and Hot4Bo agreed that this was a great excuse for a mini-gathering, and EddyJ graciously offered to drive us to Versailles.

Continue Reading ...

Front Porch Cafe (Miami Beach, FL)

Like any good vacation, ours needed at least one seriously righteous breakfast. After consulting several online sources (Chowhound, Yelp, etc), we decided that Front Porch Cafe was a good place to try (and it had looked good as we passed it the day before). I’m glad we did. Situated on the north end of South Beach (i.e. the mellower and more-relaxed end of the beach), inside the Penguin Hotel (one of the apparently older Art Deco boutique hotels, albeit one that’s obviously been refurbished recently), the Front Porch is well named, since the vast majority of their seating is, well, on the front porch, or the sidewalk in front.

Continue Reading ...

Puerto Sagua (Miami Beach, FL)

Cuban food has several signature dishes. In addition to the previously discussed Ropa Vieja, plantains, puerco, and such that we had at Latin American Bayside cafe, both roasted pork and ham served on a Cuban-style French roll (slightly more airy and less crusty than a traditional French baquette), served with cheese and, most importantly, pickle, all pressed and toasted to perfection. Unfortunately, while South Beach used to be a pretty good area for Cuban Sandwiches, most of the Cuban places I used to frequent in the early 90s are gone. However, Puerto Sagua is still there, and still good, so while enjoying the sites and sounds of a friday night in South Beach, we stopped by Puerto Sagua for a late-night snack…

Continue Reading ...

Mattarello Bakery Cafe (Miami Beach, FL)

he one thing about getting back from a 4-day cruise is that you’re not terribly hungry. After several days of heavy dinners and the like, Carol and I were ready to tone it down a little bit, and go explore South Beach while finding a nice snack to tide us over to dinner. Luckily, South Beach has no shortage of restaurants, pizza joints, and food stands, so it was mostly a matter of wandering around until we found something that tickled our fancy. What we found was Mattarello Bakery Cafe…

Continue Reading ...

Latin American Bayside Cuban Cafe (Miami, FL)

One of the highlights of a trip to southern Florida is the ability to get some good Cuban food. Up here in cold New England, Cuban food is so far off the culinary radar (Boston proper doesn’t even have a vaguely authentic Cuban restaurant for example) that most people up here are of the mistaken impression that Cuban food is like Mexican food, which is really unfortunate, since Cuban food is very distinctive, and very delicious in it’s own right. Indeed, if I had to characterize Cuban food in terms of other cuisines, it’s basically a fusion of Spanish, French, African and Caribbean cuisines, drawing many distinctive flavors from each of these, with heavy influences of garlic, citrus, and sugar cane. Unfortunately, the downtown tourist areas (Port of Miami, Bayside, etc) are definitely not the center of Cuban cuisine in Miami, for that sort of action, you’re best heading to Calle Ocho and Little Habana. But in Bayside Marketplace (the big outdoor mall right on the Bay) is one little gem of a Cuban place, Latin American Bayside Cuban Cafe.

Continue Reading ...