Road trip USA: Miami III

Posted on Jul 20 2014 - 11:25am by The Wife

This is going to be the last entry for Miami and it is going to be the most photo heavy because I have decided to squeeze all the bits and pieces of this trip together. The feature of the post will be Cafe Versailles Restaurant. Also known as the World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant. Wanna know what we think? Read on ;)

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This was actually one of the first touristy thing we did in Miami. (Actually shopping was the first thing we did in Miami, but it does not sound as cool if you tell people that after an almost 10hr flight the first thing we did was shopping. If you really want to know Dolphin Mall. Highly recommend!) We were really lucky to be in Miami on the last friday of the month. Because every last friday of the month, Dr Paul George will give a free walking tour of little Havana. Meet at Tower Theater 6:30 PM for the tour, 1508 SW 8th Street.  The tour takes you through the little Havana neighbourhood. While Dr Paul explains interesting facts. If I remember correctly the tour is about 1.5hr long.

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Be sure to check out Azucar ice cream company in little Havana. They have the most interesting ice cream flavours like avocados, Abuela Maria, cafe con leche. Just look out for the biggest ice cream sign! Ball_&_chain

On the last friday of the month there is also a cultural Friday organised by Viernes Culturales, which is an arts, music and culture festival . It starts from 7pm till late and is located next to Tower Theatre. It is hard to miss because of the music and people streaming in and out.

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Another must do is to pop by Cafe Versailles. “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant” – Cafe Versailles became the gathering place and unofficial town square for Miami’s Cuban exiles. Stepping into the restaurant felt like you were transported to the 1970s. The vintage wall mirror light, the chandeliers and the metal/ leather chairs. I think we were one of the youngest guest in the restaurant.

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I had to order a cuban sandwich. Its been on my bucket list of foods to eat for the longest time and I FINALLY tried it! It was my one and only cuban sandwich in Miami. Having no point of comparison if this was a good sandwich or not, I am only able to tell you that the taste was exactly what I had in mind. I went with the “Our Famous Cuban Sandwich” with Sweet Ham, Roast Pork, Swiss Cheese on a Toasted Cuban Bread with Mustard and Pickles. That was exactly how it tasted. The portion was huge! I was only able to finish half of it and had to take the other half back (for lunch the next day). Would I order this again? No. Did I regret ordering this? If given the choice I would still have order this because it was really worth trying.

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The Husband ordered roasted pork loin au jus marinated with creole spices served with moros rice and sweet plantains. Moros rice is basically bean and rice. The Husband did not quite enjoy his meal. Pardon the unappetising picture of the pork loin, the husband could not wait to dig in. The pork loin was soft, but nothing that really blew our minds away. The sides were tastier than the main dish. Though moros rice was an acquired taste for us.

What I would suggest if you intend to try cuban or latin american food for the first time is to try Tamale. It is made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. We did not order this in Cafe Versailles but had our first taste of it in some other cuban restaurant in Little Havana.

Another must try is the cuban espresso. If you are a coffee lover. This is the bomb. Ultra strong black coffee with a ton of sugar ( a little like Kopi O).

*Disclaimer: we are noobs about latin food and are trying to expand our food vocabulary so do pardon us if any information is wrong!

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The highlight has to be the dessert. Cafe Versailles has a take away section where you can order cakes, sandwiches and savoury snacks to go. I order two cakes to try. The first (on the left) I have no idea what its called but its a layer of pudding, cake, whipped cream and cake. Cake number 2 is key lime pie. Another cake that was on my to try list in Miami. Why? As weird as it sounds I really wanted to try it because of Dexter, the TV series, there was a couple of episodes where Dexter was searching for Key Lime Pie. It simple suck in my head ever since then. Verdict? No a big fan of it. I imaged it to be a lot lighter and to be more tart. This was way sweeter than I expected.

The second cake however was really really good. The texture of soft and fluffy. Soft and moist sponge cake with pudding and whipped cream. Its a cloud party in your mouth.

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everglade-miami

Another must do in Miami is the Everglades. Take the airboat tour. There are plenty of tours out there. We drove to Gator park. If you have a car there I would suggest that you drive over to the ever glades yourself and buy the airboat tickets directly, rather than booking a tour in Miami Beach. It will be more value for money.

Everglades