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Nov 4, 2008 06:10 AM

Lunch at Miami Airport

Hi. I will be travelling next month and I have a stop over at Miami airport for a approximately 3 hours. I don't want to leave the airport so what are my best lunch bets? Thanks!

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  1. Here's a map of MIA restaurants and food court type options ->

    Not exactly a plethora of great choices. You can probably get a passable sandwich cubano at Versailles and OK Cuban food at La Carreta. I've never eaten at the airport one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Frodnesor

      Nothing wrong with La Carreta. Generally I eat at the bar with a Presidente, but the steam table offerings in the cafeteria area are ok

    2. Thanks! I've never had Cuban food before but it looks interesting. What's good to order?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Mintycake

        Here's La Carreta's website ->
        Again, I don't know if the airport location has the full menu.

        Some basics of Cuban food you're likely to see->
        cuban sandwich - in Miami this typically means ham, sliced roast pork, swiss cheese, mustard, pickles, on a soft roll which is pressed and heated in a plancha so the bread gets toasty and the insides get warmed.
        media noche - same deal but w/ a sweeter egg bread.
        elena ruz (a/k/a ruiz a/k/a ruth) - sandwich of turkey, cream cheese and strawberry jam. Reminiscent of Thanksgiving on a bun.
        ropa vieja - translated as "old clothes", stewed shredded beef in a tomato-based sauce.
        vaca frita - literally "fried cow," shredded braised beef that's sauteed w/ onions and peppers.
        picadillo - ground beef studded w/ olives and capers, usually served over white rice.
        pechuga de pollo - chicken breast, grilled, flavored w/ some garlic & lime, often sprinkled w/ little french fry sticks; also often available as a sandwich.
        pollo (or bistec) empanizado - chicken (or steak) pounded thin and coated in crispy bread crumb - squeeze some lime on it.
        pollo (or bistec) milanesa - empanizado, topped w/ tomato sauce and melted cheese.
        palomilla steak - (not palomino, which would be a horse) thin-sliced steak (not sure if a flank is used for this or if its a sirloin or the like, cut crosswise), grilled, usually flavored w/ garlic onion and lime (like just about everything else in Cuban cuisine).
        masas de puerco - cubes of pork that are fried, usually topped w/ slivered onions.
        arroz con pollo - chicken cooked w/ yellow rice.

        Typical side dishes w/ Cuban dishes (usually you'll get a choice of 2) ->
        frijoles negros - black beans (put 'em over your rice).
        moros y cristianos - "Moors & Christians", black beans and white rice cooked together; see also "congri", arguably done w/ red beans instead of black, and often a little more pork product, it seems to me.
        maduros - ripe plaintains (banana family), fried - simultaneously crispy, soft and sweet.
        tostones - unripe green plaintains, partly mashed and fried. Savory rather than sweet like maduros, best w/ lots of salt, and maybe some mojo (mostly sour orange, garlic & onion) for dipping.
        yuca - a root vegetable, typically steamed and sauced w/ mojo.

        No doubt many things I'm missing.
        This website has a decent guide ->

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Miami airport is the pits. I flew out of there last week and bought a Starbucks and a slice of cake. There is nothing other than the Cuban and I am not sure if you can get more than Sbarro's once through security. I bring my own food from home usually.

      2. Well, there's also Chili's. not an awful choice. But La Carreta is worth a try if you haven't tried Cuban before.

        3 Replies
        1. re: tarepanda

          I flew thru Miami two weeks ago, and I may be wrong, but the terminal where La Cerreta is located is being renovated. Looked to me the full service restauarant was closed for the renovation and a small to-go stand, with very limited choices, was standing in.

          1. re: CapeCodGuy

            Thanks for the cuban food guide, it all sounds yummy and interesting. I hope the renos are done as now I really want to try La Caretta. I suppose I could settle for a little stand...

            1. re: Mintycake

              Even the stand should have empanadas and croquettas, eaten standing up with jugo or cafe cubano!

        2. A nice new alternative in the airport is IceBox Cafe, which just opened a branch in the Miami airport. It's the same IceBox from Miami Beach. The new place is located in Terminal D of MIA, but around gate ten, meaning you will likely need to take the Airtran shuttle to get there. It's not as fab as the Lincoln Road location, but the meatloaf is a solid dish, and the ambience is cool. It's progress and a nice alternative to La Carreta.

          1. lots more choice coming. I go through there at least twice a week and when I was there yesterday a burger joint (clubhouse?) had opened near d22, a Shula's is coming, there is a pretty good new sandwich cafe place at the very new bit around D8 next door to the new Haagen Daz, there is also a Sushi Maki near D33 and the sandwiches in the Admirals Club are edible, if you go in there (there is a second Admirals club now at D10-D9) The latest bit to open D1-D20 seems to have some good new choices, there is also a Tequilaria (sp?) mexican fast food joint, there, but haven't tried it...These of course assume you are on AA and in the new Terminal D, which at last has the skytrain running !!

            Sushi Maki
            14491 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33176