Yucatan-style Mexican in S. Florida
Does anyone know of any Mexican restaurants in South Florida that do Yucatan-style Mexican? I posted a few weeks ago, looking for huevos motulenos, without much luck. I was thinking maybe if I broadened it to Yucatan places, that might help. I live in Hollywood, but I'm always up for a drive.
well, there is a restaurant on Federal Highway in either Deerfield or Boca that is named Yucatan. I used to eat there when it was on Hillsboro in Boca, but they moved a couple of years ago & I moved too so have not been there since. The food was very good, whether it is Yucatan style I cannot say as I have never been to the Yucatan area.
There is a new place opening up on Biscayne Boulevard near 163rd Street called Cheen-Huaye. I stopped by over the weekend to see if it was open yet (not yet, supposed to get their CO Monday and open by next weekend) but happened to run into one of the proprietors while I was peeking in. He's definitely pitching the place as regional Yucatecan food. I got a sample menu and they've got sopa de lima, salbutes, cochinita and chicken pibil, poc-chuc, pierna asada, michelada... (along with your usual nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, etc.) I don't know my Mexican regional cooking that well but I did a little research and it looks like the real deal.
I believe they may be doing brunch, so perhaps they'll have your beloved huevos motulenos.
The guy I ran into said he's been working at Soyka for 5+ years, so he's got some restaurant chops. I'm looking forward to trying it and hope it's good. It's in a strip mall on the west side of Biscayne Blvd. just a little south of 163rd St.
Good news this Cheen-Huaye...if you can get past the name!
This guy has been in the business for years...front of the house anyway...News Cafe, and most recently Scorch...let's see if he can pull off the whole enchilada???
It sounds great!
Let us know pls.
We drove up Saturday afternoon hoping to score a "new" Mexican fix and while the place looks finished and ready to go, there was a little paper sign on the door that said, "Close."
I will take the sign at face value; meaning they're "close" to opening but not "close" enough...
We drove across the street to Paquitos at 163rd and remembered why we love the tortilla soup and chiles rellenos. Yes - yes - yes - it is a little hokey to hang with the Mariachis and there is ALWAYS a birthday celebration going on... but the food works for us. Crispy chips, chunky fresh cilantro-y salsa and a really friendly waitstaff work wonders for a belly longing for Mexican (or "Mexican Style") chow.
If anyone gets up to the west side of 154th and Biscayne and sees the lights on at Cheen-Huaye...
Please give us a SHOUT.
Pretty much the same thing happened to us. We went on sunday for brunch and were met with the same sign. When I stopped in earlier last week they told me they'd be open saturday.
We went down the road to Lime.
We drove up Friday night and the lights were on and EVERY table filled. Guess a lot of people were waiting for this place to open.
Turns out Wednesday 10/18 was the first night... We started with "on the house" cervezas and a delicious house-made sangria with fresh fruit and whole cloves in the infusion. There was a second option of a white peach sangria offered as well. The free drinks kept the dining room buzzing all night!
Started with crispy warm chips and a salsa a bit too long in the food processor but tasty nonetheless. We prefer a bit more chunky texture, but the taste was right on. We shared the ceviche - fresh chunks of lime-soaked white fish, avocado, tomato, cilantro and onion - really tangy, fresh and flavorful. I think we will try a bunch of the starters next visit to see the range of the kitchen.
Also interested in the Sunday brunch... did you go???
Honestly - the main courses were less successful. I was excited to see cochinita pibil on the menu (a cute little piggy roasted and served in chunks) but found the preparation a little dry. Likewise a chicken breast served grilled and topped with a Yucatan style salsa was also a bit too cooked and dry under the tasty sauce. I caution that this was only the 3rd night and the place needs time to work out the opening jitters.
A quick look around the dining room - which was filled with happy patrons having more "traditional" Mexican Restaurant fare like fajitas and flautas... all looked like large portions beautifully presented. We might order these "stand by" dishes next time and give the chef time to work out his specialties.
The place seats about 40 people and the prices were really reasonable considering that the drinks were comped for the opening weekend (approx $40 for 2).
Other Mex news:
The wildly successful Mc D's-Mex-chain CHIPOLTE is opening in the strip mall due south of Cheen-Huaye. This place is wiping the Wendy's run Baja Fresh further off the map with giant burritos a specialty. Turns out Wendy's paid $275 million for Baja in 2002 and just sold it for $31mil to CinnaBon ($244 million dollars lost? Ouch!) Let us know what you think of Chipolte when it arrives in Dade County.
We ventured up to Broward on Saturday to try Tamarindo on State Road 84 across the street from Lester's Diner. This was less Mex than we expected - sort of Latin American style food.
Started with papusas and a hen tamale then shared the lovely whole fish and a wonderful large sized shrimp dish served enchilada-style (tomato, green pepper and onion in a saffrony broth). Unlike Cheen-Huaye, the main dishes FAR exceeded our expectations! Delicious seafood under $50 for two... nice people working there as well!
Looking forward to trying Dona Raquel next weekend as our OctoberFestMexQuest continues...
Glad you liked it, or well, didn't like it, or... Honestly, I totally forgot everything you mentioned about Cheen-Huaye when I saw that Chipotle is opening up near there. Are you positive? I know it's fast food, but as far as I'm concerned, it's like the In-n-Out burger of Mexican fast food. My girlfriend has brought Chipotle down from Boca, that's how much we miss it. Every trip to California we stop at (1) In-n-Out and (2) Chipotle (both usually to or from the airport).
In other Taco news:
We went to lunch at Taco Max on Biscayne near 79th St. I always thought the place was teetering on closing but Saturday was he worst evidence yet. The hostess kept acosting us with suggestions for appetizers, mentioning every single one on the list. She pushed for more drinks, more tacos.... It was getting uncomfortable. When we went to pay, we saw a couple of bills marked "service to be interrupted...". It looks like they're having a hard time. I would definitely go there much more if it was in a better location. We'll see how it makes out.
Glad to hear Cheen-Huaye was packing folks in. We drove by this weekend and saw they were finally open, but we already had plans elsewhere. Hope the food picks up after opening jitters have passed.
Chipotle - I would have never suspected in a million years that a McDonalds-partnered Mexican restaurant would be any good. Maybe I'm just a chain snob, but I won't be too proud to try it.
Taco Max - last time I was in, it sounded like Arturo was looking to move to a new location closer to midtown and Design District. I hope he can hold it together and find a better location. Now THAT is a great cochinita pibil - reminiscent of the scene from "Once Upon a Time in Mexico".
Yeah - liked it... and YES! Saw the sign on the west side of Biscayne south of Cheen-Huaye.
If Cheen-Huaye is at 154th and Biscayne, then I'll guess Chipotle is about 150th at the northern edge of the one thousandth new strip mall on that stretch of the Blvd... near the giant new wine mega-plex.
Not opened yet but c l o s e . . .
YES! I can't wait. It's still a little far from my house, but hopefully more will pop up. They're all over Orlando and Tampa, so why not here?
Frodnesor, I know what you're thinking, it's chain Mexican so how good can it be. Granted, you're not going to find chicharron tacos and chilaquiles, but the main thing about Chipotle is freshness. They're menu is very simple which I think allows them to focus on doing a few things well vs. many things poorly. And as for the McDonalds' connection, the restaurant was founded in Colorado in the early 90's. A few years later McD's came a-knockin' and threw in some equity. Later they bought a majority stake during their diversification binge (remember Boston Market?). Since then McD's has spun off the stock (the stock price doubled in its first day of trading) and Chipotle is independent once again.
Chipotle's strength is simplicity, quality, and freshness. Apparently for every store they open, Chipotle contracts a new family run farm to source its ingredients. It won't blow you away, but it's your best bet for fast food. At least until In-n-Out burger makes it to the east coast.
It appears our bellies were separated at birth.
What do you order at Chipotle?
Do you burrito?
And is there any place else you suggest for our October Mexi Vision Quest? Have you been to Taqueria El Mexicano on Calle Ocho? Thinking about lunch there this week before Dona Raquel's for next weekend b-day dinner...
We're up in the NMiami area quite often on weekends, so I'll give you a shout when they're opened. I also found chipotle.com which has a "FIND" function - but it didn't list this one yet.
Please Stand By.
Chipotle for me is always just tacos and salsa and a side of the killer guacamole. My only gripe is they use flour tortillas with no soft corn tortillas available. That would put it over the top for me.
My girlfriend is the burrito fiend but there's always leftovers. She had a horrible experience at the Boca location where the counter staff tried putting lettuce in the burrito and then didn't know how to roll it. This is a frustration in almost every Mexican place I've gone to in MIA. Sometimes I want to jump over the counter and roll the thing myself!
As for Dona Raquel, I've been once and it was pretty good. I don't know if I'd drive all the way there just for that (I'm in the UES) but I've made a day of it going to the Swap Shop farmer's market and then hitting Dona Raquel. As for El Mexicano, I haven't been in years. I remember it was OK, nothing special.
BTW, you're comments about bellies separated at birth + that you're going to Dona Raquel for your b-day dinner are eerie given that my b-day is also this week. Great Scorpios think alike!
Super Scorp LAX>
No corn tortillas is an issue. BTW - been to Lotteria on Fairfax at the Farmer's Market?
Actually going to Pompano to see The Cult and eat Mexi so it's an official road trip from MB. If you (or any northerly hounds) have a Mexi preference near Pompano... gimme gimme!
Happy Birthday to you my Burping Belly Bud!!
Of course I've been to Loteria! Every time I visit L.A. What else would make me deal with the parking disaster outside the Farmer's Market?
Don't know the Pompano area well, but Dona Raquel would be an ideal place to go pre or post Cult (which, by the way, I didn't know were still together).
Enjoy the tacos and the show! I'll be enjoying Loteria come Thanksgiving.
I've been out of town for the last few days but last night I finally made it over to Cheen Huaye for an early dinner. The starters were indeed killer. Our ceviche had mangoes in it as well, which added a good texture due to their being a little underripe. I would go back just for the sopa de lima. The nachos were also pretty good, especially topped with their black beans. Homemade horchata was also good. My poc chuc was pretty tasty, but I agree about the cochinita pibil being a little dry. Still, I would try it again. My brother got the fajitas and said they were great. My girlfriend said the same about the tacos al carbon. There were only a few other tables when we went there, so I'm glad to hear it was packed other nights. I still haven't been for brunch. Maybe this weekend, although I'll probably call ahead just to make sure they're doing it.
this is a little long....it's been a while!
Excellent news! Cheen Huaye finally opened!!! When the owner told me back in January he was building from the ground up and that he'd be open by late March I knew it was a pipe dream... October is not so bad considering it was dirt back in January...
I am really looking forward to trying this place. Pompano Beach is a long way to travel for Mexy. Fortunately, I go there for other reasons a few times a month. When I sent the owner, who is Yucateco, of Cheen Huaye to Dona Raquels in Pompano, he actually kissed me it was so good and authentic. Doña's is exactly what every true RAZA and gringo who has had an extended stay south of the border longs for in Mexy food and thus far has been seriously lacking here in the MIA. I trust the conchinita pibil will only get juicier and that all facets of the operation will ultimately come together in a unique formula.
How was the ambiance and service? Is there table service or counter service? Full bar or wine and beer?
This place is worthy of a second chance seeing how they just opened and are surely just getting their act it together. When exactly did they open?
Two things I know for sure: the owner is in fact Mexican; and he has been in the restaurant industry here in South Florida for +/- 15 years. That and a buck might get you a cup of coffee in this town...Best wishes and I hope to God it's consistently great!
As for the Chipotle chatter....BRAVO! I don't know why, but I love this place. In the suburbs of America this place rules-you know what? True, this is too. In NYC this place rox! I was in search of the perfect slice just this past weekend in Mid-town Manhattan and was most grateful to stumble upon a Chipotles. Burrito dude let me create a combo burrito(which ain't really mexy-I KNOW)of barbacoa and carnitas with black & red beans...andale...it was exquisite! Have they too hit the D A D E ??? Finally! Welcome Cheen Huaye and Chipotle if so!
I'm embarrassed to say, but I tried Lime today in North Miami Beach and I actually liked it. True, it is very "gringo" but the ambience is nice, the prices are very reasonable, and the food is good (although really, what makes this place are the margaritas, sangria, and the salsas - i loved adding salsa asada to my dishes).
Even though this isn't authentic Mexican, I'm kind of thankful that we have something better than Taco Bell and even some crappy "authentic" Mexican joints we have down here in Miami. Authentic does not always translate to be good.
I finally got to Cheen Huaye tonight and was not disappointed. It's a nice enough place, maybe a dozen tables, with a small bar in between the pass to the kitchen. Waitstaff were really pleasant and charming. There were maybe 4 other tables occupied when we got there, which was fairly late. We had the sopa de lima and guacamole to start, followed by the cochinita pibil and tacos "cheen-huaye".
Sopa de Lima - this was just revelatory. I've had tortilla soups before, but nothing quite this good. Delicious chicken broth brightened up with lime, with shredded chicken and tortilla strips, but the broth had the addition of something - cinnamon, I'd swear - the really made it jump. Reminded me of a good vietnamese hanoi chicken soup, particularly because you can doctor it with extra additions of chopped onion and cilantro and hot sauce.
Guacamole - not my style of guac. I take a very simple approach: avocado mashed with some onion, lime and cilantro
and a little bit of chile. This one had an addition of some crema, I suppose, to make it more creamy. Not bad, just not my style.
Pibil - really good. Delicious pig slow cooked with onion and spices, this was great stuff. Maybe not quite "walk straight into the kitchen and shoot the cook" good (watch "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" if you don't understand), but mighty tasty. I had to ask for some tortillas to go with it. Didn't find it dry at all.
Tacos Cheen Huaye - also quite yummy. Marinated steak grilled and sliced, served on top of tortillas topped off with lettuce onion and avocado and served with a salsa verde.
Definitely will go back.
I too made it there this weekend and will definately go back. They have the Huevos Motulenos the OP asked for on Sundays. Please let us know how they compare.
I just had a snack as it was between lunch and dinner whilst I was traversing that hood. I got Salbutes (sp) of Chicken. They were definately good, kind of like a Tostada, only the hand patted tortillas were fried. Dos XX Amber on draft was a refreshing way to wash down my Yucatan snack.
I have to say, they did a nice job with the place. It's very quaint and nicely appointed.
I beleive it'll only get better...and better as time goes on. The small size could become an issue of success in the future. It's just 2 weeks old!
Finally made it over to Cheen Huaye. The salsa was very tasty and the chicken tamale special was very good but I was underwhelmed by the tacos. I ordered the Tacos Mexicanos which consisted of one steak, one chicken and one al pastor. It was served with mexican rice, refried beans, pico de gallo and salsa. The tacos were on the bland side. Overall, it was okay. I'll give it another shot since they have an extensive menu and I probably should have ordered some of the Yucatecan specialties.
We (all virgins) hit Dona Raquel on Saturday as planned - WOW!
Did I mention "WOW!"
5 of us met for a Pre-Cult party night. Tried everything... the mole is spectacular. The Chiles were delicious. Even the most picky eater got past the "real" Mexi food (she's used to mall-borne Mexi) and slooooowly became a convert. Dinner check for 5 with beers was - $50?
Totally - "WOW!"
We will be back. Probably next weekend. Worth the tank of gas to get there.
Did I mention "WOW!"
Me encanta! Thanks again.
wow-I was so happy to read this I got goose bumps! Bravo-did I mention bravo! I don't want to confuse the AG, but there are some other great places in close proximity to D.R.'s that are likewise worthy of a tank of gas...but get yer YA YA's out at Dona's for a while and I will tell you about the others...once you've had your fill let me know.
With all the hub-bub about Chipotle opening, I was wondering about last year's posts on Cheen Huaye and the other top Mexican doors. We went to brunch last weekend at Poblano and I think there is a great deal of potential there. I liked the atmosphere and the service and the menu but didn't care for what I ordered (Huevos Veracruzano). I want to go back and try something else because the poor choice was mine... Flour tortilla wrapped scrambled eggs covered in a black bean puree sprinkled with ground chorizo. The dun-colored bean puree overwhelmed all else on the plate. I think the eggs would have benefitted from more seasoning or few diced jalapenos. The ground chorizo left a little puddle of reddish oil on the top of the bean paste which looked like a drizzle of hot pepper oil but was actually just sausage grease. Bad choice.
The dinner menu features duck and a pozole special I want to taste. South on US1 is a challenge for me but I will try try again. Anyone else been there yet?
Poblano 5850 Sunset Drive South Miami, FL, 33143 (305)740-9087
Opened for Sunday Brunch til 2, lunch and dinner.
I can only attest that the owner of CHeen Hueye reigns directly from the Yucatan, and anything you eat there will at least have an authentic twist! I think I read somewhere, where they do offer those ??? eggs in original post. I am concerned for the financial well being of CH now that CHipotle just opened down the street. Few out there know and/or appreciate the difference between 'authentic' and the Baja Freshes of the world, so we'll just have to see if CH #1 can weather the chain store wrath of CH #2 ?
It's so infrequently that I actually dine in that neck of the woods, and when I do, it's usually over at Scorch. That has become quite the restaurant row up there. I am shamefully looking forward to my 1st visit to the new CH in town and creating my very own dutch oven!
There are taco bells in all those cities too.. and they didn't make a dent in the number of places serving good mexican food.
There was a yucateno window on NW 17th Ave at the river... they'd formerly been in a truck at the gas station at the corner of NW 7th St and NW 12th Avenue.. but, they've disappeared again. I guess I should go hunt them down... I want a panucho.. or salbute.. whichever one I can get.