Jamming food into tight quarters does not equal reinvention.

The chef's troubles extend beyond the kitchen. On a recent evening, a flustered waitress confused our drink order twice, forgot our table for extended periods of time, and claimed the kitchen lost our ticket. The roast lamb arrived before the mixed salad with bone-marrow vinaigrette. The fufú — mashed fried savory plantains with rendered pork belly — came as dessert.

Cabrera admits his faults. The 42-seat restaurant lacks a manager. And until recently, Bread + Butter had no chef de cuisine.

The delectable pan con minuta
The delectable pan con minuta

Location Info


Bread + Butter

2330 Salzedo St.
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Category: Restaurant > Brunch

Region: Coral Gables/South Miami


Bread + Butter

305-442-9622; breadandbuttercounter.com
Breakfast Monday through Saturday 7:30 to 11 a.m.; lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. to midnight.

Plátano en tentación $6
Pan con lechón $7
Pan con minuta $12
Cordero $28
Flan de queso de cabra $6

"From day one, we should have had a great manager," he says. "When there are backers behind you, it's easy to say that, but I'm not a millionaire."

The chef is without big pockets or investors. "Two weeks ago, the fan broke in our hood, and if we were a different restaurant group, we'd get it fixed right away — no matter the cost," he says. "Unfortunately, we had to close for three days."

Six months after the restaurant debuted, he hired a consultant to solve service issues. Bread + Butter has evolved the old-fashioned way: open, make money, expand.

Some problems aren't easily solved, though. When I spoke to Cabrera on the phone a few days ago, his car had just been burglarized. He was pacing outside an AT&T store, mumbling about a dysfunctional line. Screeching cars and honking horns strewed the conversation. He said he's planning to launch a Coral Gables frita spot — 1950s shake shop meets Cuban hamburger — in three months. The starry-eyed cook reflected on past mistakes.

"I didn't open a restaurant to be average. I want this to be one of the better restaurants of Miami. The first few months were tough, pero once you open the doors, you gotta do what you gotta do to make things great."

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