Wow! Sun and warmth in Miami, what a contrast to home and certainly a nice break!
Very grateful for the opportunity to finally visit the Everglades, rode an air boat and saw some alligators!
Best part, delicious Cuban food!
We went to the famous Versailles.
The place was ginormous and had its own bakery and corner for just a quick bite and coffee.
I ordered the plantain soup and the cortadito.
The plantain soup was delicious and addictive.
It was most definitely non vegetarian because it had small bits of shredded meat in it — probably why the soup tasted so good.
There were chunks of cooked plantain and fried banana chips on top, which made the soup’s texture very diverse.
The soup tasted mildly curried.
The cortadito was a Cuban espresso with milk.
It was nice and strong, lovely roastiness and just with a touch of milk to add some smoothness.
I made DH order the Classic Cuban sampler, and I was so glad we got it!
The best tamale I ever had!
I normally did not like tamales, somehow I really did not enjoy the corn husk flavor.
This tamale was without the corn husk flavor, soft, super flavorful with little bit of meat inside.
I could eat that all the time!
I introduced my parents to it, but they did not like it – I thought there really was no chance for them to like the regular tamales.
The black beans were very aromatic with shallots, and the picadillo beef was some tomato goodness; they both complimented the fluffy white rice greatly.
The ham croquette was to die for.
Soft crunchiness outside with nice creamy flavored mashed potatoes (which probably was mixed with milk or cheese) and ham in the core.
The roast pork was flavorful but was a little dry.
The cassava was most definitely an acquired texture.
It was similar to perfectly boiled potato slices in hardness but was sticky and pasty.
Sad to say that I was not a fan, at least not how it was prepared.
The fried plantains were sweet, with slight crisp and caramelization on the outer layer were very tasty.
My father loved Cuban sandwich (first introduction at Mojito Café in Seattle) but he was disappointed with his because it was uneventful and the sandwich did not have much meat.
However, he loved his café con leche.
Milk was sweet and creamy, similar to a reconstituted sweetened condensed milk.
The coffee was just as strong as the cortadito which made it a fantastically delicious cup of coffee.
We finished off the meal with a Cuban flan — smooth, eggy and more rigid than usual flan; it was tasty with just right sweetness.
Later that night after spending several hours at the Everglades, everyone was tired, and decided that we were going to get take out.
We went to El Palacio de los Jugos.
Completely cultural shock as everything was in Spanish and the store did not offer English menu, even the store clerks were not very helpful because their English were not so great either.
It worked like a Panda Express Latin style – point and scoop.
Luckily one other customer there was able to tell me what was good in the store and gave us some suggestions.
We got the Latin version of Chinese fried rice which was recommended and was amazingly good.
It was the standard fried rice but with huge chunks of chicken and ham, fried with eggs, onions and green onions, then topped with raw bean sprouts which gave a different dimension to the texture.
We got a shredded grilled beef fried with onions which had very good flavor but was a little dry.
Lastly we had this fish fillet which was delicious and tender.
Since this place was famous for juices, we got mango, papaya and tamarind.
The best tamarind juice I ever had – it was thick, sweet and tart and extremely strong tamarind flavor.
The mango juice was good too but a little unexpected.
It tasted a little green, similar to the green mango juice we had in Melaka, Malaysia with a hint of saltiness.
We got an empanadas and a guava pastry for breakfast next day.
The empanadas was delicious with ham and cheese and my father said the guava pasty was good – I could only took his word because we did not get to try it.
All in all, an eye-opening eating experience in Miami; I felt like I was transported to a Latin country.