Pinolandia is a 24-hour Nicaraguan fritanga in Miami's Little Havana. It takes its name from pinol, the Nica national beverage of ancient mesoamerican origin made from a rough powder of the same name.
Pinol is made of crushed corn kernels, herbs, and flavorings. The dueño of Pinolandia told us, "Es un nombre de pais nosotros, de Nicaragua. Se lo viene de pinol. Se sale de maiz. Es un polvo como chocolate." (It's a name from our country. From Nicaragua. It comes from pinol, made with corn, a powder like chocolate).
Early this morning we had a traditional breakfast of chorizo eggs, gallo pinto rice, sweet plantains, fried cheese, and hot sauce.
did breakfast because Pinolandia is no secret and a line snaking
through the interior and out the front door is common between noon and
Fritanga worker Herman Berrios says their carne asada (grilled meat), about a $6 meal, is by far the top selling item.
"No matter what cooked food we have up front it's always
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There ain't no place like here anywhere in Miami. I think it's the way we season the meat, and that it's so nice and tender, almost like filet mignon."
The La Paz Centro native concedes business is good, but despite his easygoing, good humored nature the layer of sweat, grease, and smoke residue covering his face, shirt and pants after a long shift at the fritanga betrays the underlying strain of popularity. In a quick over the counter conversation after his shift meal and Milca soda he says "So many people man; it's crazy. What am I T-Pain?"
119 NW 12th Ave
Miami, FL 33128