Station 28: A Peruvian Sanguchería in Downtown

Station 28
Station 28
Photo by Carla Torres

Miami doesn't exactly have a shortage of Peruvian restaurants. What the city is lacking, however, are sangucherías. In Peru, these fun-to-say sandwich shacks serve Peruvian-style sammies of chicharrón, butifarra, lomito planchado, and lomo saltado. "There's about ten in one block," Sharon Marlo says. "Miami doesn't really have any. We have lots of Peruvian restaurants and ceviche, but no sandwich shop."

Enter Station 28 (91 SE Second St., Miami), an alfresco hut slinging Peruvian breakfast, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Marlo owns the nearby Ceviche Piano, a favorite among downtown's corporate crowd.

Here, the menu is as no-frills as the industrial-chic decor. Walk up to the concrete counter and browse the selection of five burgers, all of which are beef (the Diablo packs spicy meat) and vary in toppings, from the archetypal tomato, onion, mushrooms, and cabbage to the always-welcome fried egg, fried bananas, and sliced fried sweet potatoes. All burgers come with Station 28 special sauce — a secret-recipe house-made ají amarillo. "All I'll tell you is that it's a little spicy and it makes the bread and meat taste completely different." Because I'd just had a full meal before discovering Station 28 on a stroll through downtown, I had to take Marlo's word for it. But I'll be back soon enough to see if the sauce is in fact worth the squeeze and then eat my way through the rest of the menu.

That includes a bevy of sandwiches. Think homemade turkey with a "special" turkey dressing ("We let the turkey cook in its own fat and render a sauce from that"), spicy onion, and Station 28 sauce. There's also a chicharrón sammie with salsa criolla and fried sweet potato, as well as one featuring home-cooked lechón. All sandwiches and burgers cost $6.99 each.

Blackboard specials
Blackboard specials
Photo by Carla Torres

There're also daily rotating blackboard specials like tamales and empanadas, so check what's available during your visit. If it's Peruvian breakfast you're after, you can get the desayuno Lurín (tamal, pork, fried sweet potatoes, and coffee) for just $2.99.

To help you wash it down, Station 28 squeezes fresh juices daily. The lucuma with milk is unique but at the same time traditionally Peruvian ($3.50). There's also pineapple, strawberry (with or without milk), and papaya with lemon and orange.

Flan
Flan
Photo by Carla Torres

I tried the house-made flan, which Morla gave me on my way out. Her grandmother's recipe, the viscous dessert was creamy, not overly sweet, and addictive.

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