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Central American Eats Miami

I had some really great Nicaraguan food at a small restaurant called "Yambo" near calle ocho today. My meal of carne asada & rice n beans cost $6. Lots of locals were there which is always a good sign. Another good find for Honduran food is Adelita's cafe between 26th & 27th street on the east side of Biscayne blvd. They make their national dish "baleadas", total bill was $5. If anyone else knows of any other authentic non-trendy restaurants please add on. I think alot of us get too caught up in the glamorous miami food when there is alot of great reasonable priced food if you are willing to make a little drive. Ciao.

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  1. Atlakatel is awesome Salvadorean cuisine. I like Adelitas, I just find the one off Biscayne smells like a sewer pipe is busted right below the place! Their Baleadas are great!

    Los Ranchos steakhouse in Bayside is good...expensive comparitively speaking, but good nonetheless.

    The other countries down there don't seem to have much of a presence or worthy cuisine for that matter. I know of no Guatamalean, Costa Rican or Panamanian places.

    Atlakatel is one of my all time favorites.

    Kind of funky going there as a gringo, but oh so worth it!

    2 Replies
      1. re: netmover

        Seems I added an el to the end of Atlakat, my favorite Salvadorean joint! I had a very nice Sopa de Res coupled with a mixed Pupusa there today. Scrumpteous! Oh, and the Mora Juice is niiice! Anyone who has yet to savour a Pupusa with the cabbage/carrot salad and Red Sauce on Top is missing a true Central American delicacy. And there's nothing like their "Soups" dujour which are meals in and of themselves!

        Good eats 2 one and all!

      2. There is good Guatemalan at Antigua, Guatemala -- just west of 27th Avenue on Flagler. Try a pupusa --- tasty filled corn tortillas (the tortilla is cooked with the filling totally encapsulated).. typically served with encurtido (spicy pickled cabbage slaw).

        Hondura Maya makes a better baleada than Adelita -- but, their location on 27th Avenue gets too noisy (BAD loud music) and crowded on weekend nights to be a worthwhile adventure.

        Good Nicaraguan at La Esquina Nica, 16th and Flager -- try the repocheta -- a deep fried white cheese in a fried thick-style nicaraguan tortilla smothered with lightly pickled cabbage and "crema" (nicaraguan style sour cream).. amazingly tasty for $3

        For an unusual drink, try the pitahaya -- dragonfruit drink or the cacao con leche (spiced chocolate milk)

        ~~~~~~~~~~~

        13 Replies
        1. re: karmalaw

          Generally speaking, I've been disappointed with Nicaraguan restaurants. I've tried many already - Madrono's, Novillo, Yambo, and Fritanga Monimbo. Do I have a favorite? Not really - they're all pretty much the same except for Novillo being more of a cheap steakhouse serving not so great steaks (at least the Red Rd location) and Madrono's overcharging for typical fritanga fare. I'll hope that La Esquina Nica and Los Ranchos are noticeably better. But of what I've tried, if I really wanted Nicaraguan, I'll just go to Yambo.

          For Honduran baleadas, I second the better baleadas at Honduras Maya. They're my substitute for Mexican big-sized quesadillas/tacos. I've found the food to be better during lunch hours than during dinner hours, for some reason. Not sure if there was a fluke.

          And Antigua Guatemala is pretty consistent and good - but beware that the fajitas there are not like fajitas in Mexican restaurants - an American friend of mine made that false assumption. Tortillas is a side, not a complimentary dish that goes with the fajitas at the restaurant.

          While the outside is a bit shady at both locations, I wouldn't hesitate to return to either location.

          And as for Panamanian in Miami, has anyone tried Las Molas? Here's an excerpt I pulled out of CNN's website on food in Miami:

          Las Molas—This is a great choice if you're on your way back from an official Everglades tram tour (the one leaving from Shark Valley) because it's just a few blocks north of the Tamiani Trail. In a green-bordered strip mall (tucked behind a Chevron station), this Panamanian restaurant is well worth any trouble it might take to find it. The stuffed red snapper is as beautiful as you've ever seen and as delicious as you've ever tasted. Also good are the garlic shrimp, pollo guisado, delicate bread pudding and a novel drink made of milk and hominy. $-$$. Most major credit cards. 10910 W. Flagler St. Phone 305-221-8833.

          And also, I thought Los Jarritos was pretty good for Mexican style Mexican - it's on 27th Ave and SW 1st St. It's Central American, in my book, thanks to strong culinary similarities to Hondurans, Nicaraguans, and Guatemalans.

          1. re: mialebven

            Only been to Fritanga Monimbo. Their house made hot sauce is the ticket...slather on everything...including maduros!

            1. re: mialebven

              la esquina nica is better than guayacan

                1. re: mialebven

                  I have just called Las Molas, and they are simply another Colombian restaurant. My fiance is from Panama and is really missing good Panamanian cooking. We are still looking for an authentic Panamanian restaurant, and as soon as we find one we'll let you know!

                2. re: karmalaw

                  The panamanian restaurant you described sounds amazing, I will check it out for sure. The challenge with Guatemalan restaurants is that I have yet to find a food that is local to their culture. For instance, they serve pupusas but that is borrowed from El Salvador. Is there anything on the menu at Antigua Guatemala that is not borrowed from a neighboring country? Keep in mind, I am from Central America. Thanks for your details...

                  1. re: pierrem

                    pupusas are from Guatemala and el salvador -- I don't argue about who had them first.. or who makes them best.. I eat them all! Baleadas are more squarely from Honduras, but are common in neighboring countries.

                    The best mexican I have found in Miami is Mi Rinconcito Mexicano on Calle Ocho at SW 20th.... I had their shrimp ceviche tostada tonight... yum!

                    1. re: karmalaw

                      My comments on pupusas. I have a Guatemalan dad & a mom from El Salvador & I spent most of my life in both countries, right up to about 5 years ago. I can tell you that pupusas did originate in El Salvador. Guatemalas are of Mayan descent & we eat all eat similar foods to our neighbors. Some local Guatemalan foods I remember eating are chicken with green tomatillo, chiles rellenos & many meats. However, great recommendations & now I have a couple new places to try myself. Happy eating.

                    2. re: pierrem

                      Well... I was confused on what's authentically Guatemalan as well. I was told pupusas are good at Antigua Guatemala. And the only thing I know "for sure" that's purely Guatemalan is the frijoles revoltados (or something like that) made with black beans - and don't quote me on that since my Guatemalan friend told me that. I tried it though, and I think it's something of an acquired taste - but it does grow on you.

                      1. re: pierrem

                        Pierrem, do let me know how the Panamanian restaurant is! I'm hoping it's still in business actually since the CNN article is kind of old:

                        http://www.cnn.com/FOOD/restaurants/w...

                        It says year 2000 in the bottom of the article.

                        1. re: mialebven

                          Mariscada with Coconut looks unreal...in fact I think I remeber having it once upon a time and it was delish. I usually go to the one on NW 7th St and +/- 23rd Ave, but the one on NW 17th Ave just south of the Orange Bowl is good too. The one out on West Taft was not so great.

                          Atlakat is "Central American Eats Miami" .

                      2. re: karmalaw

                        Karmalaw: Nice recommendation on Honduras Maya, I tried it this weekend & would agree that their baleadas are better than Adelita's.

                        1. re: pierrem

                          Hondura Maya used to have a location in an old house on Biscayne Boulevard at about 22nd Street (right next to what was the Jakmel Gallery later on)... I loved that location.... glad you liked the one you found!

                      3. Has anyone tried Guayacan for Nicaraguan? It is listed in Zagat and got a score of 24, which is relatively pretty good. But I've never been and I haven't heard anyone talk about it. Some feedback would be nice.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mialebven

                          I went to guayacan a couple of years ago... had one awful over-priced meal and never went back.