Admittedly this new neighborhood café's Cuban specialties are spotlighted only at lunchtime, when Cuban-American co-owner Margarita Vasallo is the kitchen dominatrix. Although the menu is limited to sandwiches, starters, and a few full-size entrées, all items are of high quality -- and are the real thing. Dishes include several typical Cuban beef cuts, a fish and soup of the day, and one or two more labor-intensive Cuban specials -- perhaps hefty rabo encendido or ropa vieja. Any deviations from tradition are imaginative improvements, such as pan con bistec ($5.95 to $6.95) served with a choice of three steaks (palomilla, breaded palomilla, or churrasco), topped with fashionable mixed-veggie Terra Stix instead of canned potato sticks, and accompanied by a mesclun, rather than iceberg lettuce, side salad. The $3.50 serving of sopa de pollo (richly flavorful broth packed with poultry, calabaza, corn on the cob, and much more) is to normal chicken soup as the University of Miami's bulked-up ibis is to Tweety Bird. And the impossibly creamy house croquetas ($1.50 each) are nothing short of a ticket to Heaven for the price of a bus ride.

Location Details

5132 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami FL 33137


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