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Sep 29, 2008 08:17 AM

Miami Cafe & Bakery, Somerville

I have been to this little place on Somerville's Main Street twice and I still don't know what the food is like! The service is atrocious and I doubt that I will try a third time. However, I keep wondering if I might be missing some really good food, which appears to be Cuban American.

On my two visits, I had essentially the same experience. It was a weekday, the place was not busy (hmmm, perhaps I need to think more about that!) and I was greeted immediately, given a menu and told someone would be with me "in a few minutes". On both occasions, I waited, and waited, and waited some more. I could have got up and asked someone for service but I wanted to see how long this would go on. I saw three different employees but not one approached my table during the time I was there. I got up and left.

So.....I'd really like to know if I am indeed missing a wonderful food experience that should not be missed or I should just cross this place off my list.

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  1. I've been there twice as well, but it was for dinner Friday and Saturday. The place was pretty full, and I thought the service was pretty good for a couple of young waitresses.
    The food has love in it. They give big portions at a reasonable price. The store owner came by my table and greeted me. Apparently they've only been open for a month or so.
    I would definitely tell you go give it another shot. Third time's the charm.

    1. Well, I went back to the Miami Cafe this week and actually got to have lunch!

      First, I have to say that the service was outstanding. Again, I was immediately given a menu and told that someone would be right with me. And someone was. She took my drink order and was back in less than two minutes, ready to take my lunch order.

      The bad news is that the food was a great disappointment, or at least the food I ordered was. I opted for the pulled pork sandwich which came with lettuce and tomato on a roll that had the taste and consistency of slightly wet Kleenex (which I have not eaten for a long time!). And the pulled pork itself had virtually no taste; not even the mild sauce could save it. To add insult to injury, the accompanying fries, which obviously came out of a bag or a box, were undercooked.

      While I was there, I noticed that my server was also responsible for entering all the take out orders and operating the cash register. I couldn't help but notice that she also seemed to be having a lot of trouble with the kitchen, which kept making mistakes on the take out and pick up orders. I would say that she found mistakes on more than half the orders that came out. All I can say is that she was really earning her salary that day.

      So, I now know that I am not missing a wonderful food experience at this new restaurant. Martino's, the Cuban restaurant down the street, has nothing to worry about.

      9 Replies
      1. re: ambrose

        I also ate at Miami Cafe & Bakery and have to say that I don't know what ambrose is talking about. The key word on the restaurant name is "Bakery" meaning that they bake their own cuban bread. Maybe you don't know what real cuban bread should taste like, but it definately does not taste like kleenex. I've also had the Pan con Lechon, or as you say it "Pulled Pork" and it was delicious. They add a mojito sauce which is very tasty. Not to slam Martino's but that's not real cuban food, take it from me, my family is cuban and I've lived in Miami. My friend recommended this place after they told me they loved the food and I tend to agree with them. The pastries are just like I've had them in Miami. Now I don't have to travel all the way to Elizabeth to get my Pastelito fix. So ambrose, keep eating at Martino's and those that want real cuban food can try this restaurant.

        1. re: marinoand

          Hmmm. I notice you've never posted here before, marinoand (at least not under this username.) You wouldn't possibly be connected in any way to this restaurant, would you? You do know that Chowhound requires you to disclose such a relationship, if one exists, right?

          1. re: flourgirl

            Nope. First time posting. But I got to speak up for my people. I met the owners so I don't think that associates me with them. I googled their name looking for their website and came across this posting and couldn't resist speaking up. I'm also letting my friends know who have eaten there also so they can post their opinion.

            1. re: marinoand

              What are some of your favorite things to eat there marinoand? If I were to stop there for lunch what would you recommend ordering?

        2. re: ambrose

          Speaking of slow service, what was the fastest you ever got in and out of Martino's!?! I only have lunch there when I have absolutely nothing else to do for the next two hours!

          1. re: ambrose

            I'm glad you gave them another shot, Ambrose. :-)
            I can't personally comment on the Pan con Lechon (Pulled Pork sandwich), because I personally have not tried it. I have tried the Pan con Bistec (Steak Sandwich), and it was delectable. I like the bread; it's moist and melts in your mouth. Maybe it's an aquired taste.

            I've went to Martino's, the "Cuban Resturant", after I read your post. I couldn't help, but compare. The food at the Miami cafe was so much better. I mean the food at Martino's was good, but it wasn't strictly Cuban. I noticed specialties from other central american countries. I also preferred the atmosphere at the Miami cafe. I guess I'm used to the smaller more intimate places.

            My mom and stepfather came down to visit Friday night, and I told them they had eat at the Miami Cafe. My mom rarely cooks, therefore our family always eats out. They've eaten at all different ethnic specialty restaurants such as but not limited to Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Salvadorian, Columbia, etc. My parents loved the food. They ended up ordering some dishes to go, so they would have it for the next day.
            My mom even bought 2 dozen guava pastelitos (pastries), so she could bring it to work for her friends. I like the guava, but my favorite has to be the guava and cheese pastelito (pastry).

            You gave it another shot, for which I'm glad. Maybe you don't think you'd be missing a wonderful food experience, but I know I sure would.

            1. re: HaloDJ1026

              I'm curious as to what you tried when you went to Martino's?

              Does Miami Cafe have an extensive menu? Good rice and beans?

            2. re: ambrose

              Finally made it there today for lunch and I ordered takeout. The restaurant is bright inside with a melon green color on the walls. There are plenty of tables and a few booths. It's a nice space and feels pretty open. The people working there were really friendly and enthusiastic. .

              I ordered a cuban sandwich with rice and beans instead of fries, beef noodle soup and a guava pastry. They serve the cuban there with ham, pork, turkey, chorizo swiss and mustard. All the fillings were good. The texture of the bread is definitely different than any I've had before. Most of the cuban's I've had have a toasty almost crunchy texture for the outside. The Miami cafe cuban tasted as if it was steamed on the grill and seemed to have a very light coating of butter or oil on the outside. I don't think it was put in a press. The bread was still fluffy. I wouldn't say it was bad but I do prefer greatly the style of cuban at Martino's Martino's is drenched in garlic butter, though. If you're looking for a lighter healthier meal Miami would fit the bill..

              The rice and beans were served in a container and mixed together. They cook the rice to the point where the grain splits. Sometimes I like it cooked that way as it tends to soak up the flavors of the beans. The black beans were cooked until the skins were separating from the beans. Didn't taste as if they were flavored with any ham. I liked that the rice and beans weren't killed with salt or made rich with too much olive oil or butter. I do think they'd be fantastic with some fresh cilantro or oregano and a fresh squeeze of lime juice. They didn't really jump out at me.

              The soup was absolutely fantastic and absolutely my favorite part of the meal. They serve a daily special and today's was beef noodle. The soup had 4-5 perfectly cooked tender morsels of beef, a half inch thick sliver of celery, a carrot the length of a french fry, a three-bite floret each of cauliflower and broccoli, and two dozen or so 2.5 inch long spaghetti size noodles. The broth was delicious and the textures of everything in the soup fit my tastes perfectly. Everything was melt in your mouth tender. I'll definitely go back here to try their other soups. I enjoyed it immensely I took the left over soup broth and used it to flavor the rice and beans and they soaked up the flavor nicely,

              The guava pastry was golden crisp on the outside and very flaky on the inside. For my own tastes I was hoping for a lot more guava flavor in the center. I'm certainly no authority on Cuban pastries maybe the style is supposed to be subtle?.


              1. re: jrd303

                Went back today. They have a sandwich press. Had a fresh from the fryer beef empanada today and chicken soup. The empanada was crispy and chewy and flavororful. The sauce served with it was tasty as well. It went down fast cause I enjoyed it so much. I meant to take my time eating it to describe the flavors but ended up liking it so much that it was gone too quick.. Chicken soup was good as well. Basically the same style as the beef. I think the beef edges it out.

            3. Wow, When I walked into this place I was expecting a typical bakery. When I spoke to the person behind the counter she said it was a cuban bakery and restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised to find some "different" kinds of sweets then I am used to. I purchased 5 pastries (one of each they had) and I really enjoyed the guava and cheese pastry. The meat was also delicious. I also purchased a loaf of bread because when I went in the morning the smell was just heavenly. I have to say the bread was very tasty. I have not had a chance to try the food yet, but I will be back to try very soon.

              1 Reply
              1. Bumping this old thread only to mention that the Miami Bakery and Cafe has closed. I must say I am not surprised. The last time I walked by - at lunch time on a Friday - only one table was occupied.