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Sep 23, 2011 11:01 AM

Miami for a night--Help me plan!!

Hi again,

Okay, so thankfully to all the chowhounders on here I've been able to plan my restaurant itinerary for Fort Lauderdale, but now I need help with Miami.

We (hubby and I and our kids, 10, 6, 2) will be spending one night in Miami post cruise from Port Everglades.

So the first day we will arrive just before lunch, and the second day we will be leaving just after lunch. So I can squeeze in 2 lunches and 1 dinner (and maybe some snacks ;) ).

We do not have many Latin American restaurants here at home, so I'd like to try some different types of cuisine. We don't eat pork, so I'm not sure if that'll be an issue since I know a lot of these countries use it a lot in their cooking.

So here's what I've picked so far, but let me know what you think, and if I'm missing places that are not to be missed. Looking for places the locals would go themselves! Thanks!

lunch - Puerto Sagua and maybe Old San Juan Restaurant for dessert? (do they have PR desserts? looking to try Mallorcas)
Dinner - Chalan on the Beach and Miami Juice later

lunch - La Camaronera + El Palacio Del Los Jugos + Versailles Bakery (lol--trying to try a bit of everything)!!

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  1. Wow, you're ambitious! First and foremost, what part of town are you staying in and will you have a car? That will help target the responses you'll get.

    Now just from seeing the ages of your kids and your comment that you don't have many Latin American restaurants where you're from let me suggest that you may want to skip somewhere like Palacio de los Jugos. Although it's on the foodie trail, it can be a bit overwhelming for couples not familiar with Latin food stalls like this. It's also not the cleanest place. It's chaos and there's only outdoor seating which in September is not ideal. The place is unique and if it were a couple looking for an adventure I'd recommend it but with 4 kids in tow it might be overwhelming.

    Will post some more suggestions when we know where you're staying and how you'll get around.

    5 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      Well, I haven't decided on the hotel yet, but we will have a car, so I don't mind really anywhere in the Miami area. We won't be coming until January, so I have some time (I'm a compulsive planner)!

      My 2 older ones are major foodies already (the toddler is destined to be one) and have been to almost every major US city, and although here in Toronto we don't have many Latin Restaurants we pretty much have everything else, and I think our Chinese and Indian populations are the biggest in N. America (correct me if I'm wrong on that), so we have seen our share of "not the cleanest places"! lol

      How is the Miami food truck scene? Would that be something worth checking out?


      1. re: umieesa

        Excellent. But I'm telling you, even by big city standards, El Palacio can be a jarring experience. Be warned!

        Food trucks are everywhere here. Not sure what the best place to find where they are w/o individually following each one on Twitter. Burger Beast, a local burger expert, has an iphone App that tracks the trucks. It'd be a great way to see less touristy parts of the city as well as get your Latin fix. La Camaronera has a truck and Mr. Good Stuff serves huge Venezuelan arepas stuffed with a variety of things.

        And for a Cuban restaurant I'm going to throw in Havana Harry's in Coral Gables. Every out of towner I've taken there has loved. it. It's like going to eat at someone's (very large and clean) home. You've got your Cuban classics plus some twists on such. Good as a lunch or dinner place if you find yourself in the area.

        Havana Harry's
        4612 S Le Jeune Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33146

        1. re: lax2mia

          Ok, now you're scaring me! What should I expect at El Palacio?

          I LOVE Venezuelan Arepas...gonna have to squeeze that in somehow! Thanks!

          Havana Harry's looks nice, but is it upscale? Will I be out of place bringing 3 kids?

          Havana Harry's
          4612 S Le Jeune Rd, Coral Gables, FL 33146

          El Palacio
          21485 NW 27th Ave, Miami Gardens, FL 33056

          1. re: umieesa

            I'm telling you Palacio de los Jugos is chaos wrapped around misery in the summer. If you've only got 1 day in Miami it wouldn't be a prime destination.

            As for HH, every Cuban restaurant is a family restaurant. We travel in packs if not hordes so any Cuban restaurant worth its salt is ready for families. The website looks much more upscale than the restaurant actually is. Versailles is another place, an institution actually, that would be good for dinner.

            1. re: lax2mia

              So of the three (Puerto Sagua, Versailles and HH) which would you pick if you could only pick one?

    2. I like your Puerta Sagua for Cuban (their ropa vieja/sort of a shredded beef dish is what I often get)and Chalan for Peruvian choices. These aren't fancy places but good..also a short distance from each other.

      1. I don't understand why people do not think about one of the largest ethnic groups in South Florida. Try Colombian food. It is tasty and in most places, actually true to its origin. Try Pueblito Viejo, on Bird Road between 82 & 83 avenue SW. Look at the menu online. It is translated to English. Also restaurante Monserrate. Try Colombian, you won't be dissapointed

        2 Replies
        1. re: mrotmd

          it's funny you mention Colombian because I had it on my list. I was thinking about El Cartel since I saw it's on, but are these places better?

          I don't know how I'm going to squeeze everything in?!! I think we'll have to eat a little at each!