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What is your favorite hole-in-the-wall in South Florida?

  • yomyb Oct 11, 2007 04:28 PM
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I know we discuss them in different posts but I thought a new, well organized thread is needed. I am especially eager to hear about tiny inexpensive ethnic gems....

Favorites that come to mind right now:

Indian- Heelsha
Vietnamese - Hy Vong
Thai - Panya Thai
Japanese- Yakko San
Indonesian - Bali Cafe
Peruvian - El Chalan
Argentinian - Liberty Grill
French - Cafe Pastis and A La Folie
Haitian - Chez Rosie
Vegan - Garden of Eatin
Tapas - recently discovered El Carajo at the gas station (so many times I put gas there, thought their wine selection looked good but never ventured to the back! So funny. I wonder if their other location is better, heard the duo split up)
For Pizza - Andiamo (does this qualify? I guess since it is next to a car wash....maybe)

But I am missing so many! I haven't found a really good Cuban (and I am sure local chowhounds understand what I am saying, we are in Miami after all), Puerto Rican, Italian, or best hamburger yet to name a few (that I am in search of...).

Wanna share your great finds or old time favorites?

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  1. Hands down, numero uno, Papa Rudy's. Cuchifritos, my friend. Eat here, and you won't care about Cuban food anymore, because the Puerto Ricans have all the recetas correctas.
    Numero Dos-Lakay for homemade Haitian food, especially their Mais Morou.
    Numero Tres-Annie's Nicaraguan on 95th St, just for the steamed yucca and chimol.
    And please define 'hole-in-the-wall'. By my count, more than half of the places you named wouldn't qualify.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miami Danny

      About the hole in the wall: I was just having this discussion with my fiance. And you know you may be right about some of these depending on how you look at it. I have not explored a lot of Miami yet. In Puerto Rico a whole in the wall is the real deal...you know a hole. Super tiny, super cheap, been there forever with the obvious crazy looking counter where you order with the traditional fried empanadas on a case, lots of local folks drinking beer in the middle of the day, the smell of grease.... well you know. But here I guess I just go by the small, non pretentious, but proud, ethnic or neighborhood places with great food....

      1. re: Miami Danny

        Where is Papa Rudy's at for Puerto Rican food? thanks

        1. re: PASTELELOVER

          71st and Flagler-Miami

      2. Yomyb, not sure those qualify ashole in the walls. Regardless, I'm a huge fan of Yakko San.

        1. Can you edit post with general area of these "hole in the walls".

          1 Reply
          1. re: mbfergie

            Here are my "holes"

            El Carajo is inside the Citgo Gas Station on 17th Ave and US1

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            Heelsha International
            1550 NE 164th St, North Miami Beach, FL 33162

            Bali Cafe
            109 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

            Cafe Pastis
            7310 SW 57th Ave, South Miami, FL 33143

            Garden of Eatin
            136 NW 62nd St, Miami, FL 33150

            Hy-Vong Vietnamese Cuisine
            3458 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

            Pan Ya Thai Restaurant
            520 NE 167th St, Miami, FL

            El Chalan Restaurant
            7971 Bird Rd Ste 17, Miami, FL 33155

            A La Folie Cafe
            516 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            Parilla Liberty
            1925 Liberty Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            Chez Rosie Restaurant
            5961 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

            Andiamo
            5600 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137

            Hiro's Yakko-San
            3881 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

          2. Cliff's on NW 7 Ave and 107 Street. Excellent Jamaican dishes, with authentic Jerk.
            They also serve up some great smoked BBQ dishes.

            1. The Sicilian Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria in the Burger King plaza right off the Palmetto and NW 67th Ave. I found it totally by accident 10 years ago when I moved here and lived in the neighborhood. I now live in S. Miami and still drive up there to eat. Best eggplant rollatini around, awesome pizza, excellent garlic knots, great linguini and white clam sauce, divine italian cheesecake and fabulous pignolatas all just like my Sicilian grandmother used to make. The owner is the cook, his wife the waitress. Barely any table and chairs, no ice and only takes cash, does that qualify as a hole?

              3 Replies
              1. re: chriscinfl

                i used to work next door at the baseball and comics shop that used to be there 15 years ago... this place is great. Great garlic rolls.

                1. re: chriscinfl

                  Score!

                  1. re: chriscinfl

                    Went to this restaurant after reading the reviews, Thank you!!! The food was delicious!!! We live in South Miami so it's a bit of drive to get there but totally worth it. Everything was so mouth watering, from the little rolls to the main dishes (eggplant rollatini and lasagna) to the desserts (tiramisu, cheesecake and an expresso). Come hungry, they serve plenty. Cash only as stated above, very casual, just perfect little Mom and Pop place.

                  2. For Homemade style Italian the place to go is Philomena's in Pompano on Powerline Rd in Crosscreek Plaza there is a Walgreen's on the corner---" THE BEST "
                    Try the Gnocchi or the broccoli rabe with fried sausage.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gozomo333

                      Have to agree with you there about Philomena's. Been going there for a about a year and love everything there--perfect, homemade, downhome Italian like it's supposed to be. Maybe 9 tables or so. Make sure to order off the menu or from the specials on the wall....the waitress will only suggest the most expensive items that aren't necessarily the best (we learned). Philomena herself is there to kiss you hello and goodbye when she takes a moment to get up from guarding the cash register. Last I knew, the place is open for lunch only Monday through Friday, and dinner only Friday and Saturday. It's worth the trip from anywhere. Cash only.

                    2. I nominate Walter's Coffee Shop for breakfast south on US1 and 174th St. It qualifies!

                      1. Can't have a hole-in-the-wall thread without mentioning the two Pigs - Georgia Pig and Dixie Pig (not related.)

                        You might also be interested in this thread on the Best Dive in Florida. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/469786

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                        Georgia Pig Barbeque & Rstrnt
                        1285 S State Road 7, Davie, FL 33317

                        Dixie Pig Bar-B-Q
                        4495 N Dixie Hwy, Oakland Park, FL 33334

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: RickL

                          Love Walter's Coffee Shop....homey atmosphere....love the breakfast....been a while since I've been there.....need to find my way back.....Love The Sports Grill's chicken wings on Sunset Drive.....Love a place...it's either called Chetitos or Chetanos....it's on Kendall Drive...right next to the turnpike...in the mall that has Sports Authority, Chilis and the movies theatres....This place is wonderful for Argentinian steaks and pizza....This place is small and is constantly packed and for good reason....the food is fantastic......

                        2. The Ludway! Coral Way and Ludlam Road. Great sliders, cheap beer, great hole-in-the-wall bar.

                          Too bad it's been gone for over 15 years.