I have to agree w/ JimInKy. The Versailles is delicious… it’s delightful… it’s dewonderful… And don’t forget to people-watch while you’re there, and stop in at the attached bakery. I didn’t know what some of the things were and just pointed out my selections, none of which I really needed as I was so full after the generously portioned meal. A truly diverse and interesting experience!
In South Beach it’s Puerto Sagua on Collins Ave around 7th Street.
Also worth a try is Latin American Cafeteria on Sunset Drive in Miami.
You are talking about La Rumba. They went out of business about 5 years ago. When I was in South Beach in 1997 they were still there and as great as ever, when I returned last year, the restaurant was gone, however there is still a take out only place in the same location I believe run by the same people.
From a Website restaurant rating:
Posted on 2/1/2002
by Mario of Miami? Havana?
Ambiance: 8 / 10
Experience: 8 / 10
Food: 8 / 10
Value: 10 / 10
(Tongue-in-cheek) Please do not come to eat here; it is bad enough that all of Miami is doing it. Now we have to contend with the tourists, I mean visitors, too. The depth of the menu is such that a large family with kids of all ages, parents who like chicken, grandparents who like beef, and assorted friends that like Cuban-style sandwiches, can all eat here and end being more than satisfied, and all that at moderate prices.
But, please don’t come. Sometimes I’ve had to wait in line for a few minutes to get in. Please, go someplace else. Thank you, thank you, very much.
Not only have I had terrific food at the Versailles, but I’ve had nice experiences just being there. On a day trip into Miami a few years ago, we had one shot for a good Cuban meal and numerous queries kept us on track for the Versailles, which I first visited in 1991. The Versailles is a casual, family type establishment on Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) in Miami’s Little Havana.
We arrived about 1:30 PM, just after the lunch rush on a Saturday. That was fortuitious, as several large Cuban-American families had just settled in for a communal meal. These diners seemed so happy to be enjoying their families and friends over good food on a leisurely weekend afternoon. We thought we had wandered in at a magical time.
My friend and I both had broiled polla (chicken), served with pimento and sweet onion. Rice Moros (black beans and rice perfectly combined) and sweet, delicious fried plaintains accompanied the perfect chicken.
Service was good and the food, served hot and fresh, could not have been better. Cuban food (and my experience is very limited)is a basic cooking, not exotic, but hearty, flavorful, and wholesome.
We had considered a visit to the Cuban American Cafeteria, next to or part of a downtown mall, but the pull of the Versailles was too great, and I’d glad I was able to enjoy another meal there.
To finish the meal, I had a demitasse of Cuban coffee, a strong, strong coffee served overly sweet. It was so good I ordered a second cup. Twenty minutes later, driving across the causeway to Miami Beach, the caffeine kicked in like a powerful drug, and for a few moments I felt like a jet engine in full thrust. Va Voom!
The Versailles is inexpensive and the food is authentic Cuban. Being there was almost like being in a time warp.
I was in South Beach a few years ago and found an excellent little hole in the wall. But, crap, I can’t remember if it even had a name. It was a few doors down from where Wolfie’s was just a block south of the Governor Hotel, if that helps any. Probably not. But a few of the smaller htels and cafes sell great empanadas on the street for a buck apiece.
I also found this tidbit on timeout.com: "For some of the best Cuban food, hit Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street) and sample the culture’s most authentic comestibles at traditional caf�s and restaurants."
Versailles… great roast pig, perfect crackling skin and teder meat. Chicken noodle soup with lemon sounds odd, but I still dreamt about it. South beach, they have the most exotic tropical fruit ice cream [:p] Can’t remember any restaurants right in South Beach cause I was too busy people watching [V]
Kristi – Thanks for that site! It’s great.
ReggieRoy – We’re heading to Miami soon so I’ve been researching Cuban restaurants, too. I think we’re going to try to go to Versailles – The Three Cubans give it a ringing endorsement – and I’ve been reading a lot of other good reviews about it recently. There are obviously dozens of great Cuban restaurants in the area, though. I’m sure your husband will be pleasantly surprised by Cuban cuisine.
You’re in such luck! [;)]Cuban food is hearty and generally very inexpensive. Beyond the usual rice & bean variations, there are many wonderful stews, soups, and creative dishes using roast pork (lechon), chicken (pollo), and simple desserts (custards/flan, fruit pies, sweet rolls). Cubans use a lot of root vegetables in their cooking – which will certainly leave you feeling full. Keep in mind, Cuban food draws from Spanish and Caribbean influences, so it is never spicy-hot like Mexican food…in fact, Cuban cooking is about as far removed from Mexican as you can get. You’ll find peppers in their dishes, but not the jalapeno/habanero variety. (Yeah, even tho ‘habanero’ is derived from "Habana")…
Check out http://www.icuban.com. The Three Cuban Guys en Miami will steer you down the right path!
PS: Tonight at Kristi S.’s house, it’s Sancocho for dinner!
I’ve never been there, but Puerto Sagua has been recommended on previous threads.
Where shall I go in the South Beach area of Miami Beach to have an inexpensive but delicious Cuban dinner? My husband is worried that the menu will include nothing but pork and cheese. Any thoughts on that?
South Beach (Miami Beach) Cuban Food
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