For several months now I've wanted to try Xixon, a small Spanish tapas place and deli on Coral Way around 18th Ave. I've not had much of an excuse for not doing so, as it's less than 10 minutes from my office. I finally rounded up a group to go there for lunch, and am now kicking myself for not doing so sooner. It is quite simply the closest thing I've found to an authentic Spanish tapas bar in Miami.
It's a small place in a nondescript storefront, as you walk in there is a small wine shop and a few barrels with chairs around them, and a deli counter in front. To the side is a small seating area with no more than about 10-12 tables plus a tapas bar. In a glass case with several additional bar seats around it are a number of trays of tapas on display, just like the tapas bars in Spain and much like a sushi bar. All the tables were filled when we got there so the four of us took seats at the bar.
Not much English is heard or spoken here, but our initial server found another one who could speak some English and deal with us gringos. Our group did a good bit of pointng at the tapas on display and also ordered several items from the menu. We ended up with ->
- salpicon de mariscos - a refreshing cold seafood salad with shrimp, mussels, clams, octopus, chunks of red and green peppers and onion, all tossed in a light vinaigrette
- a garbanzo stew - hearty and redolent with bits of chorizo and morcilla
- patatas bravas - a classic dish of twice-fried chunks of potato with a spicy tomato sauce
- bunuelos de bacalao - nice light little codfish fritters with garlicky aioli for dipping
- sauteed mushrooms - simple and tasty
- chorizo en sidra - spicy chorizo sausages cooked in cider; one of our group described these as "like really good Slim Jims," which was intended as a compliment
- albondigas - nice spicy little meatballs
- bacalao w/ peppers - the only item that didn't really excite me, as the bacalao had a slightly rubbery texture (which would seem to indicate that they're using the traditional dried and rehydrated codfish rather than fresh)
There were a whole bunch of items we didn't try, plus an assortment of daily specials, plus a variety of bocadillos (sandwiches) made to order. They had a very nice selection of Spanish wines as well, though I stuck with beer (Spanish) instead.
I'm obviously late to the game here, as the place was packed for lunch, but I will be back soon to make up for lost time.