Cuban Food in Miami

Christina Ferrara  ~  

Every taxi driver I had in Miami was Cuban American, I knew this because I spoke with each and every one of them. Each taxi driver had the same story of, I was born in Cuba and moved to Miami when I was a teenager. Our conversations varied from how did you like Cuba, would you go back and how did you like the food? My replies were always I loved Cuba, it was beautiful and I can’t wait to go back with my family. When I answered about the food in Cuba, I would reply I liked the food in Cuba but I like the Cuban food in Miami better.

On my last day in Miami, I was in a cab, on my way to the restaurant, Casa Juancho for lunch. Casa Juancho is located on a popular street in little Havana known as Calle ocho. To begin my conversation off with my taxi driver, I asked him if he was from Cuba, which was appropriate because majority of people in Miami are Cuban American. When he replied with, yes I was born in Cuba, I immediately asked if he had ever been to Casa Juancho before. He replied with, “Ohh of course I have been to Casa Juancho, many times in fact.” Once I heard his reply I already knew that the food was going to be excellent. I knew this because he was a Cuban American born in Cuba and that he knew good authentic Cuban food. Before I got out of the taxi, I asked him if he had any recommendations on what I should eat there. He recommended I order the beef or the fish, Of course I took his recommendation.

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Beef topped with mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach from Casa Juancho on Calle Ocho.

Once, I sat down at the restaurant I felt like I was in Havana, with the pitcher of red sangria placed on the table and the smells of Cuban food. Without contemplating on what to order I instantly chose the beef because of the drivers recommendation. My lunch came with a house salad of colorful lettuce and bright orange slices of carrots. The lettuce was crunchy and fresh, which paired very well with the vingarette dressing. Once I received my entrée, I was amazed by the side of the portion because it was so much food! My plate came with three pieces of lean beef topped with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and a creamed spinach with melted cheese. The beef was cooked perfectly with a light pink center and tender and juicy with every bite. The creamed spinach with melted cheese was my favorite side dish because it was creamy and salty. My mashed potatoes were excellent with the perfect amount of cream and flavor. After my entrée I had arroz con leche for dessert in English (rice pudding). My rice pudding was topped with cinnamon which gave it a unique flavor of spice. I loved every bite of it!

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Arroz con leche (rice pudding) for dessert.
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