Room to Rumba

Samba Room

It still wasn't much of a caesar, but at least it worked as a creditable salad. Until Samba gets its daytime act together, I wouldn't suggest making this your number one lunch destination.

The only consistent aspect of Samba's service is the staff's accommodating attitude. Otherwise it's hit or miss, some waiters evidently very experienced and talented at what they do, others clearly not. While I confess an annoyance at watching a gaggle of servers standing around and doing nothing while our water glasses went unfilled, and other details left unattended, there does seem to be more of an effort toward providing something at least resembling professional service here than usually is the case on the Beach.

Excepting a knockout green apple-banana cobbler served warm with coconut ice cream, desserts aren't worthy of the exemplary Brazilian coffee that's presented in a petite press pot. The Samba-style banana split isn't bad, two bananas fried in spring roll wrappers, rolled in cinnamon sugar, and served with a scoop of coconut ice cream, but it lacks the grandiosity that its "banana split" tag suggests. An ancho-chili flourless chocolate cake is bad, four thin, bitter, brownielike wafers held upright by puffs of whipped cream, with a plantain chip resting horizontally across the top like some banner held aloft at a protest march.

What's wrong with this picture? It's a reasonably 
priced, good restaurant on South Beach!
Steve Satterwhite
What's wrong with this picture? It's a reasonably priced, good restaurant on South Beach!
What's wrong with this picture? It's a reasonably 
priced, good restaurant on South Beach!
Steve Satterwhite
What's wrong with this picture? It's a reasonably priced, good restaurant on South Beach!

Location Info

Map

Samba Room

1501 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Music Venues

Region: South Beach

Details

305-672-6223. Open daily for lunch and dinner; Sunday through Thursday noon to midnight, Friday and Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Bar stays open till 2:00 a.m.
Bancroft Hotel, 1501 Collins Ave.

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Ultimately the food at Samba Room isn't special enough that you'll recall your meal years from now, or, for that matter, even days later, but it is freshly prepared and presented at a popular price. Add to that a romantic Latin ambiance, a lively crowd, and refreshing tropical drinks, and you'll leave with at least the satisfaction of having seized the moment and having had a good time doing so.

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