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Restaurants & Bars

FTL/Tamarac/Miami Trip Report

Steve S. | Mar 26, 200507:32 PM

Traveling with family, it wasn't always easy to get to the places I wanted, but I got some good guidance on this board.

Taqueria Dona Raquel II, Tamarac: Worst meal of the trip. Chilaquilas good, but not enough to compensate for dreary tacos of carnitas, carne asada, and cabezas, all soft but tasteless meat, no corn flavor to the tortilla. Enchilada and tostada made with large amounts of bland cheese and iceberg lettuce: this is truly hitting bottom.

Rustic Inn Crabhouse: Thumbs up, especially for the crab pickin' ambience and a fine spot to savor stone crabs, garlic bread, and a variety of buttery vegetable sides. So how about the World Famous garlic crabs? Ok, but not my preferred way of eating these babies, and not any better than Capt. Crab's take-away in Miami. Enormous portions, especially the huge slabs of fish, decent preparation.

Jackson's Ice Cream Parlor: Long line outside on a Saturday night, absolutely worth the wait. I am partial to ice cream sodas, and this is a World's Best... WORTH A PILGRIMMAGE. Ice cream served at the proper temperature! Indoor seating a must. They also serve other food.

Las Culebrinas, 4700 block of W.Flagler. Looks humble from the outside, but is elegant inside. Apparently the original location of a storied restaurant empire. Everything looks like its from the cover of Bon Apetit. Tapas are enormous, enough to feed an army. Vaca frita served over baked bananas. I've never had bananas cooked like this, almost to a pudding consistency. My guess is that they cook them with the skin on in water, then peel and cook in butter, then some wine. Squeeze the lime on, completely delicious. Moros y christianos are pitch black, an excellent rendition. Stick with some of the Cuban classics, and you'll eat very well, stray too far and the overuse of paprika could hurt you.

El Palacio de los Jugos, 5700 block of W. Flagler. Thanks to roberto64 for pointing out this place. A real 'scene.' A juice market and fruit stand, plus four other vendors all serving prepared foods with plenty of picnic tables to eat at. Always packed with people. But how good is the food? Much of it looks pretty grisly, but it all depends on when you go. The paella I tried was not so good, neither was a snack of fried cheese. People were lining up for the moros, though, so I think it's worth going back to.

Scotty's Landing, Coconut Grove, didn't want to walk all the way to Monte's, so we stopped at this humble place at a low key marina with a great view of the water. Food was very good, especially grilled dolphin, expertly prepared. A surprise.

Arnie and Richie's Deli, Arthur Godfrey Rd., Miami Beach. One corned beef sandwich was super lean, the other very fatty, so go figure... Neither too tasty. The pastrami was easily in the top one percent, though, a true work of deli art.

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