If you’re Cuban and you’ve never been here, guess what, you’re not really Cuban. With the exception of Ño Que Barato and the welfare office, this is one of the spickiest places in Miami.
This is not a palace and its highlight is not its juices.
The name is a misnomer. This is not a palace and its highlight is not its juices. Instead it’s a tacky-looking outdoor spot full of foods that American tourists to South Florida have to Wikipedia on their phones. They Google Translate “ropa vieja” and FREAK OUT.
The food here is the shit while the health inspections seem to be done by fulana’s cousin. I’ve seen atrocities, people. Open-mouth coughing, open-mouth sneezing, a hairnet that’s basically used as a scrunchy, and I’ve literally seen a lady drop something on the floor and pick it up only to throw it back into the pile where the presumably clean food is at. I’ve seen steadier food handling at a Darfur refugee camp. Kidding, I’ve never actually seen one of those because it’s full of poor people.
Even with the glaring faults in hygiene I still eat that food up like Lou Gherig’s disease eats motor neurons. So what, they sneeze on the food. I can’t catch HIV and genital herpes like that, and those are the only two communicable first-world diseases I’m really afraid of so I’m good. I once went with my little sister’s boyfriend, one of those fabled white people from Broward, and he looked fearful but determined. I like him because he’ll eat anything. He’s lactose intolerant and orders pizza with extra cheese. He’s allergic to shitty food and still eats Indian crap. It’s pretty admirable, though I won’t tell him that to his face because at the end of the day he’s still fucking my little sister.
He’s lactose intolerant and orders pizza with extra cheese.
I have to take something I said earlier back. The food, while good, isn’t “the shit.” It’s not that amazing, it’s just good. The thing is there’s a lot of variety and you (or I, in this case) usually only come here when in the area and hungry as hell. I’ve got a friend that lives nearby so whenever the guys are at his place watching the Marlins get their asses kicked, watching a soccer match, or hearing 12-year-old idiot kids from Arkansas overuse the word “nigger” on Xbox Live while playing Call of Duty that’s when I eat at this spot.
As far as shakes go, my favorite is the mamey/sapote. These people are Cuban, so you have to order it correctly. If it’s a male, “oye asere dame una batida ‘e mamey,” and if it’s a female, “oye mi amor dame una batide ‘e mamey, y ese culo, sabrosura.” Anything else and they’ll fill half your cup with goat urine.
Here is a fair warning: If you don’t speak Spanish, you better head to a Berlitz office and hire yourself a translator. Either that or point and smile. Also, they probably accept pesos. And threats.
If you’re looking for authenticity, this is probably up there. Real food, marginal service, fattening shakes/desserts, and pure español. I don’t even think this place has a web site, or as they call it, a “wessite.” But it’s good, and I’m sure you’ll love it.