Tag Archives: Miami

Versailles Cuban Cuisine Stands Tall in Miami’s Little Havana

21 Apr

miami little hav sign

A visit to Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood is like a trip outside the USA. The sights, the smells, the accents — you’ll feel like you’ve really journeyed to Cuba. For many of us, it will be the closest we ever get to the real deal. We only had a few brief hours to explore this go around, so it was something of a whirlwind tour, for certain.

miami ver sign

We rarely come to this part of the world without stopping for a meal at Versailles Cuban Cuisine. If not the best, it is surely the most popular and well known eatery in Little Havana. The food is consistently good and the prices always fair. It always seems to be a proper mix of tourists and locals. And if the locals are consistently eating here in large numbers, then you know they are doing something right.

miami ver ext

Lots of locals make Versailles a regular stop — even if it’s just to grab a jolt of strong Cuban coffee or a flaky pastry from Versailles always-busy bakery. This place is a bit of a compound. A cottage industry, one might even say. There is a walk up window to accomodate patrons on the go and it appears to be a never ending flow of humanity. Boston may run on Dunkin … but Miami runs on these tiny, shot glass-size shots of dark coffee loaded with more sugar than a box of Dunkin Donuts. Yes, you could say this is an acquired taste. I whoofed it down and immediately felt the combination caffeine/sugar buzz. Eileen didn’t care for it and I, not wanting to waste a drop, knocked hers back as well. My day was now in full tilt mode.

miami ver cafe

Cafe Con Leche and Conversation — morning in Little Havana

miami ver menu

“The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant” — enough said.

miami ver mirror

Check out the ornate mirrored walls in Versaille’s rear dining area

miami ver cuban sandwich

The Versailles’ traditional Cuban sandwich is my go-to lunch order

miami ver tres

Save room for some Tres Leche Cake — it’s moist and sinfully good

miami ver coquitos

If you love coconut, give these sugar bombs (aka “Coquitos”) a try

dominoes

Playing dominoes to pass the day is a Cuban (and Miami) passion

miami cigars

The art of making a hand-rolled stogie is alive and kickin’ in Miami

miami south beach

The Breakwater – one of South Beach’s fabulous art deco palaces

Do not miss Versailles Cuban Cuisine. But more importantly, don’t miss Miami’s Little Havana. It is a cultural gem that showcases Florida’s diversity and strong connection to Latin America. One day I will get to the real Havana. That day is coming soon. But until then, this will have to do. My son told me he felt like we were in a totally different country. “That’s the whole point, Travis,” I replied. “That is the whole point.”

Versailles Cuban Cuisine – 3555 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135

www.versaillesrestaurant.com; (305) 444-0240

Advertisements

Get Your Bird On at Miami’s “Michy’s”

12 Aug

michys

Spotted this review online.

Who knew Miami could be so Southern?

It’s August in Miami, and you know what that means: Dolphins preseason. But also: specially priced menus all over town.

And while there are many a lukewarm bargain to be had, only one new culinary special stands on a poultry pedestal all its own, high above the rest, looking down and flapping its wings in mockery of all the other would-be deals out there.

We’re speaking of Michy’s Endless Fried Chicken Feast, unleashing its finger-licking goodness on the chicken-starved masses in just a scant few hours’ time.

Let’s get right to it: starting tonight, and every subsequent Wednesday until October blows into town, for the price of two South Beach cocktails ($33), you will be privy to an unlimited rodízio-style cavalcade of succulent fried chicken, and because this is Bernstein’s house and not some other two-bit bird den, the chicken is bathed in a buttermilk, tarragon and black pepper marinade before it gets fried up and dropped on your plate—we’re talking legs, breasts, wings, thighs…the whole nine chicken yards.

Of course, a true, world-class fried chicken bender wouldn’t be complete without a few never-ending sides, and the James Beard’ed Bernstein comes through with heaping piles of biscuits and gravy, coleslaw, watermelon Greek salad and dark chocolate cream pie.

Somewhere Colonel Sanders is stroking his beard in anger.

Michy’s Endless Fried Chicken Feast
6927 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
305-759-2001

Read more here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/michys-miami 

Jose’s Real Cuban Food

15 Oct

I visited Jose’s for the first time earlier today. The food was really good and Jose seems like a great guy. He is certainly a hardworking hombre. He does everything from the scratch cooking to serving diners inside this cozy little cantina. Jose is a native of the Miami area, but their loss is surely our gain.

Jose’s can be found at 8799 Cortez Road West in Bradenton, Florida

I ordered the Cuban sandwich and I was quite happy with the decision. Jose also gave me a complimentary taste of the Lechon Asado (marinated pulled pork) and some of his famous Cuban black beans. Both were quite tasty — especially the tender, sour orange marinated pork butt. Jose cooks it for just 4 hours, but it tastes like it has been stewing for far longer. Really tender and dripping with super-flavorful pork fat.

Although the “Mom’s Recipe” Cuban flan was on Jose’s “86 list” (he explained that meant they were sold out), he managed to conjure up a sliver for me. Man, it was soooo good. Jose has been in business for just 18 months and claims that business is pretty brisk. He asked, “Can’t you see the bags under my eyes?” He runs the eatery by day and caters at night. Please support Jose and his quest to provide Manatee County with some authentic Cubano grub. He’s located just a couple miles east of Bradenton Beach. Jose loves baseball and added that several Pittsburgh Pirates and TB Rays employees dine with him regularly.