Joumou Cafe opened two weeks ago in what looks to be a former house on NE 2nd Avenue. This quaint and colorful
Haitian/Caribbean restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. We stopped in around 1 p.m. and took advantage of a ridiculously great deal: Salad, choice of a handful of main courses, and a large bowl of rice (plain or with pigeon peas)...for $5? (That's what a chalkboard said and that's what we were charged, although the menu offers choice of any lunch entree for an equally astounding $5.50; both offers run weekdays noon to 2 p.m.).
You can see from the photos that portions are anything but skimpy. Heck, lots of places would charge $5 apiece for the salad and rice. You cannot see from the photos that the griot (fried pork chunks) and poule en sauce (stewed chicken in light tomato sauce) were freshly cooked and very flavorful. The rice was deliciously steeped with clove/herb flavor. Plus you get fat disks of plantain that were cleanly fried. And that spicy slaw in the little tin cup? It is hot. Be very careful.
The cafe is named after the joumou squash soup that Haitians
traditionally prepare for New Year's dinner. The pumpkin broth is here
boosted with beef, noodles, carrots, and dumplings. It's only prepared
every other day -- Saturday, Monday, Wednesday...and I'm not sure about
The full menu offers lots more, like stewed goat, oxtail, and a couple
of fish and turkey preparations. Also American-style sandwiches (smoked
turkey, tuna salad, etc.), and hamburgers -- including the Joumou Spicy, described as ground beef mixed with spicy Kreyol dressing topped with special Joumou Sauce. I'm going to return to check this one out, but something tells me Burger Beast will beat me to it.
Breakfasts are mostly American style, though there are specialties such
as simmered cow feet, steamed fish cooked in sea salt, and salt cod,
which the Haitians call morue.
Joumou Cafe is a place you'll want to check
out, especially before the extremely friendly and hospitable owners come to their
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senses and up that lunch deal a couple of bucks.
4424 NE 2nd Ave., Miami