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Apr 2, 2002 11:07 AM

Visit Suggestions-Cuban/Seafood

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I'll be in fron New York for a weekend in April. Staying in South Beach, but traveling up the coast to visit my grandparents in Delray. We really want good, uniquely Floridian (local) seafood, prepared well, but not necessarily in a fancy setting (anywhere between Miami and Delray). Also, really want to sample authentic Cuban. Read previous posts about Versailles—is it really good? From things I've read elsewhere, it sounds a little theme-restaurantish. Any place else in Miami's Cuban neighborhood that's really great?
Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Miami IS a Cuban neighborhood. Brush up on your Spanglish and check out some of the little cafeterias
    (lunch counters) that are just about everywhere. This
    is where you'll find the real stuff and you definitely
    won't go broke. Also, Joe's Stone Crab never disappoints. Have a cocktail and wait. You won't regret
    it. In Delray, try Splended Blendeds Cafe, Red Cyclo,
    32 East, Hoot, Toot'n Whistle, Old School Bakery (for
    bread). Ask around, SoBe has some good little spots
    on Washington Ave. where the locals eat.

    6 Replies
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      Versailles is theme-y but you can't miss there. It is the most authentic Cuban experience a visitor can have. Pork dishes are great and portions are huge.
      I agree with Joe's rec--going at lunch is a great option. Same menu and very little wait.
      Another option is Las Culebrinas. I think they have more seafood options. Only go to location on Flagler Street. It is actually not hard to find.
      Please report back on your findings!

      1. re: MiamiChow

        Thanks for these tips! Will report back.

        1. re: Adam B.

          I went to Versailles for the first time ever just last week (weird, since I grew up in Miami). I had the churrasco and was very disappointed--the meat was overcooked, the sauce was slightly bitter, and the accompanying moros y cristianos were oily. my out of town friends, however, were very happy with their lechon asado. overall, i think the La Carreta that's across the street is better, and the service is faster. also, i highly recomend El Cristo, which is on bird road in a shopping center right across the street from tropical park (though i haven't been in a year and can't vouch for the quality these days).

          1. re: chowchica

            There is also a great dim-sum on Bird Rd. right across
            from Tropical Park. It's in a shopping center with a
            number of other Chinese-owned businesses. I can't
            remember the name, but it was fabulous. They must have
            more than fifty items constantly circulating on steamer
            carts. My favorite were the leek and black mushroom

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Dim sum is at Tropical Chinese across from Tropical Park.

              So I always get a kick when people say La Carreta is better than Versailles or vice versa. They are owned by the same guy--Felipe Vals. I think La C is more low key. Any food at these two places has the potential to dry out as the roast meats are cooked and may sit around. LOVE El Cristo--totally concur with that rec. My only hesitation sending out of towners is staff english is limited. I also love Isla Canarias but same prob--plus menu translation is better bad.

              1. re: MiamiChow

                Casa Lario's on Flagler is better and cheaper than any La Carreta, and young locals with families like it more than Versailles. It's just West of the Palmetto. People like Sergio's, especially the one on Coral Way just up the street from the original Latin American Cafe which was featured in the Times article.

                For Dim Sum, Tropical is good but expensive, and the clientele is rarely Chinese(on Sunday it's Indian). The local Chinese eat at Konchau on Bird Road around 84th Avenue, or at South Garden on Sunset at 114th Avenue or so. Or they eat takeaway from Chinese Jamaican places all over town like Sango on Colonial just west of US 1.

    2. The NY Times recently ran an article on Cuban sandwiches in Miami. I can't recall the name of the place that was most recommended but perhaps my post will prompt a response from someone else more helpful than I.

      1. excellant cuban food and cheap too at padrino's on 441 and glades road in the shopping center on the s.w. corner in boca raton.they also have the original place on hallandale beach blvd.before the intracoastal bridge on the south side of the street in hallandale beach.