Jimmy'z Kitchen Serves Rockin' Mofongo
Mofongo de Camaron
Jimmy'z Kitchen recently opened in the Wynwood area on the right side of Miami. Mofongo aficionados and homesick Puerto Ricans now have a spot to chow without having to make the trek over to SoBe.
One thing rings true among all the boricuas know, they love their mofongo. If you can't escape on a plane to la isla, it's comforting to know Jimmy'z Kitchen gets it 100 percent right, and the newest outpost in Wynwood offers this plantain classic on a daily basis.
Mofongo in its basic form is simply mashed plantains. Dominicans call it mangu; Cubans call it fufu. However, there are key differences in the Puerto Rican preparation that make it stand out. First, the green plantains are fried and mashed, so there is a crucial interplay of textures between soft and crisp. It then gets seasoned deftly "a lo criollo" and "sin pena". This means adding pieces of crisp chicharrones, a.k.a. pork cracklins, a good dose of chopped garlic and olive oil for richness. Like a good Rican, mofongo has personality, so no bashful dashes of anything here.
It's traditionally served as an accompaniment to protein, and there are five options between $11.99 and $24.99 - chicken, puerco con mojo (slow roasted pork in bitter orange and garlic), churrasco (skirt steak), camarones al lo criollo (shrimp creole) and seafood.
We've tasted the shrimp ($14.99) and the pork ($16.99). Both are incredibly tasty, it's tough to say which one was better. The shrimp version is served in a salsa criolla -- a tomato based sauce that combines culantro, cilantro, onions, garlic, sofrito - a proprietary, ground up mix of aji, onions, garlic and herbs. The shrimp get tossed in this mixture to cook quickly, and then the whole thing is served with a mound of aggressively seasoned mofongo. The perfect bite consists of a bit of garlicky mofongo, some saucy onions to moisten the mash, and a small piece of crunchy shrimp. So good, my mouth's watering just thinking about it.
Mofongo de cerdo.
Meanwhile, the pork variety is completely different. They slow roast a pork leg for a few hours with a mojo sauce made with bitter orange, garlic, onion, culantro and oregano. When it's time to serve, hand-torn shreds of pork are reheated in the cooking juice along with some onions, garlic, and extra sofrito. It is then served with a heaping mound of mofongo. This is the kind of dish the body calls for on a chilly day after a heavy night of P-A-R-T-Y. If you order it, make sure whoever is along for the ride tastes it too. This way, awkward conversation is eliminated.
If, for some reason, mofongo doesn't tickle you, Jimmy's offers a slew of salads, paninis and daily specials. Just don't sleep on the mofongo.
Jimmy'z Kitchen has made a reputation for itself on South Beach for offering tasty food at super friendly prices; they deliver too. Proprietor Jimmy Carey is taking this same formula and applying it his new location. Success is imminent.
Short Order smells a monfongo Plato Royale coming up soon. Chef Sean Bernal, where are you?
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.
More RESTAURANTS News
- Animal Rights Activist, Author Susan Hargreaves to Speak at Earthsave Vegan Potluck...
- Restaurant Michael Schwartz Brunch: Bottomless DIY Bloodys, Prime Rib Sandwich, and...
- Miami's Best Eats and Drinks This Weekend: WMC, Typsy Mermaid, and Florida Derby
- Freshii Opening New Location in Miami International Mall