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3+ days in Miami - Mostly Latin American chowing -- Please critique my picks (Long)

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Restaurants & Bars Florida Miami-Fort Lauderdale Latin American

3+ days in Miami - Mostly Latin American chowing -- Please critique my picks (Long)

R from SF | | Mar 29, 2007 12:16 PM

First off, I just want to let you Florida hounds know how much I appreciate all the guidance you've given me already! Thanks again, hounds!

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In April, we're visiting Miami for 3 full days and a morning; the last visit was in April 2005.
Staying near Bayside (for convenience -- have friends staying there, too).

We'd like to taste mostly authentic Latino dishes this visit, preferably cuisines that are under-represented at home in SF.
This visit, we're mostly staying away from Nuevo Latino. (Except maybe Cacao for a birthday dinner.)
Our primary focus is Cuban. (We would also usually pick Spanish dishes, but we are enroute to Spain.)

Reference (links to other posts):
--> Comida Criolla: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/363850
--> Arroz con Pollo: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/381759
--> Bayside (old related post; updated): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/132954

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SCHEDULE
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Here's my schedule. Please feel free to recommend changes.
Note this schedule only has meals. (We'll also want to snack!)...

--> WED - Miami
Breakfast: Sergio's -- (Sun-Thu 0600 to midnight, Fri-Sat 24 hours)
Lunch:
Havana Harry's -- (Mon-Sat 1100-2300)
-or- Canela Café -- (Mon-Sat noon-2330)
Dinner: Benny's Seafood -- (Mon-Thu 0900-2200, Fri-Sat 0900-2300, Sun noon-2200)

--> THU - Miami & west, then return for dinner for friend's birthday
Breakfast: Casa Larios -- (Daily 0700-2300)
-or- Latin America Restaurant at Red Rd (Luis Galindo's Latin American) -- (Sun-Thu 0700-0100, Fri-Sat 0700-0200)
Lunch:
Road trip west on Highway 41: (food to go)
On way east: Get food To Go, from Gilbert's and maybe Blue Sky
Dinner: Cacao Restaurant -- (Mon-Fri 1130-1500, Mon-Sat 1800-2230, Thu-Sat 1800-2330)

--> FRI - Miami & north, maybe visit Ft Lauderdale friend in morning, then return
Breakfast:
Las Olas Café -- (Mon-Sat 0700-2000, Sun 0700-1700)
-or- Confiteria Buenos Aires -- (Daily 0700-2100)
Lunch: Little Havana (lunch specials Mon-Fri 1130-1530)
Dinner: La Carreta -- (Sun-Thu 0800-0200, Fri-Sat 0800-0500)

--> SAT - Miami (preferably between downtown & MIA)
Breakfast:
Islas Canarias #1 -- (Mon-Sat 0700-2300, Sun 0800-2300)
-or- Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop -- (Mon-Fri 0600-1600, Sat 0600-1400)

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LIST
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Here's my list of choices. Please feel free to recommend changes.
(After regular/nicer restaurants, are casual places for breakfasts/snacks, & bakeries.)

** Been there. Plan to visit here or eat here again during this visit.
* Been there. Would eat again, but probably not this visit, due to time constraints.
++ Never been there. Will visit or eat here during this visit.
+ Never been there. Would be nice to visit or eat here.
[ * ] -- Been there. Okay, but probably won't eat there or visit during this visit.
[ - ] -- Been there. Wasn't good enough to want to eat or visit here again.
MNT - Miami New Times "Best Of" award

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REGULAR SIT-DOWN ($-$$)
** La Carreta, Calle Ocho
** Benny's Seafood
+ Havana Harry's
+ Luis Galindo's Latin American Restaurant aka "Latin America Restaurant at Red Rd"
+ Casa Larios - 7705 W Flagler St
* Islas Canarias #2 - 13697 SW 26th St (Coral Way, Kendall) -- Had good meal here.
-or- Islas Canarias #1 - 285 NW 27th Ave (Little Havana)
Little Havana Restaurant - 12727 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami
Tap Tap -- save for next visit
Ay Mamá Inés
[ * ] Versailles
[ - ] Puerta Sagua - 700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach 33139, Ph: 305-673-1115

NICER RESTAURANTS ($$ or above)
++ Cacao Restaurant
* Porcao -- Had good meal here.
* Las Culebrinas - 4700 W Flager St, Coral Gables -- Had good meal here.
Graziano's Miami - 9227 Bird Rd, Miami 33165
-also- Graziano's Coral Gables - 394 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables 33131
Los Ranchos - 401 Biscayne Blvd (Bayside) -- A contingency pick.

BAKERIES -- Any more recommendations on places to visit?:
** Confiteria Buenos Aires - 7134 Collins Ave
** Gilbert's on Bird - 5777 SW Bird Road [SW 40th St] (same center as Blue Sky)
++ Gilbert's on Coral Way (new; moved from * Gilbert's on Douglas)
+ La Nueva Fe Bakery - 2975 W. Fourth Avenue [Cuban party platters MNT 2006]
[ * ] Don Pan - very many locations
Miramar Bakery - State Rd. 7, Hollywood [best Cuban coffee & bread; visit if in the area]

CASUAL EATS (Inexpensive) -- Any favorite snacks or breakfasts to note?:
** El Palacio de los Jugos - 5721 W. Flagler Street ["Best Last Meal on Earth" MNT 2006]
El Palacio de los Jugos - 10140 SW 56th St (Miller Rd), Miami 33165, Ph: 305-275-0030 [3guysfrommiami.com favorite branch]
El Palacio de los Jugos - 14300 SW 8th St, Miami 33184, Ph: 305-226-3141 [Music on Sundays]
** Blue Sky Food By the Pound No 5 - 5751 Bird Rd [SW 40th St] (same center as Gilbert's) -- Visited, but not eaten here
-also- Blue Sky Food By the Pound No 1 - 1239 West 44th Place, Hialeah
-also- Blue Sky Food By the Pound No 7 - 3803 W Flagler St, Coral Gables
-also- Blue Sky Food By the Pound No _ - 12761 Bird Rd [SW 40th St], West Dade
-also- Blue Sky Food By the Pound No 8 - 10734 Sw 72nd St
-also- Blue Sky Food By the Pound No _ - 6452 Northwest 186th Street, Hialeah
+ Canela Café - 5132 Biscayne Boulevard [Sit-down service at night; Best Cuban restaurant MNT 2006]
+ Sergio's - 3252 Coral Way, Miami 33145, Ph: 305-529-0047 [Good breakfasts]
-or- Sergio's - 9330 SW 40th St (Bird Rd), Miami 33165, Ph: 305-552-9626 [Good breakfasts]
+ La Casita - 3805 SW 8th St
+ Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop - 186 NE 29th St [Best Breakfast Special, Best Cuban sandwich MNT 2005]
El Rey de Chivito - 6987 Collins Ave [for Uruguayan sandwich Chivito]
El Rey de las Fritas - 1177 SW 8th St [for Cuban hamburger Frita]
Tinta y Café - 268 SW Eighth Street [Best croquetas MNT 2006]
Las Olas Café - 644 Sixth Street [Best Cuban sandwich MNT 2006]
Villa Habana Restaurant - 3398 Coral Way [inexpensive sit-down; Best Café con Leche MNT 2006]
Latin American Cafeteria - 401 Biscayne Blvd (Bayside) [NOTE: This is ONLY a contingency choice if little time, for breakfast on last day])
+ Robert Is Here - 19200 SW 344th Street, Florida City [a must-visit if in the area]

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Thanks! -R-

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