You might have missed the moment that Venezuelan cuisine seems to be having in neighborhoods like Wynwood and midtown, at restaurants like La Latina
and newcomer food truck Zona Grill
. It seems too that for nearly a year, Brickell has been keeping a delicious secret in the form of Don Glotón, a relatively new food truck whose name roughly translates to "Mr. Glutton."
Don Glotón is actually a trailer owned by 26-year-old entrepreneur Franco Cisternas. It's named for the gut-busting Venezuelan fare you’ll see him serving five nights a week. Prior to launching the truck, Cisternas worked as a party promoter in the Magic City, which he somehow still does, even with a busy, late-night cooking schedule. “I’ve been living in Miami for five years,” he says. Unrest and insecurity in his home country led him to seek a better life elsewhere.
Don Glotón opened in June 2014. Although Cisternas’ background isn’t food-driven, back home in Caracas, his family owns a restaurant that serves traditional fare. “I opened the trailer because I missed my food. I couldn’t find Venezuelan flavors here, the food of the streets,” he says of the truck’s provenance.
The menu reads heavy but tastes nothing short of decadent. Tequeños ($5 / $8), deep fried cheese sticks best dipped in one of the variety of homemade sauces that line the truck’s counter, seemed to be the go-to starter for the customers lining the sidewalk on a recent visit. Arepas ($7) are first deep-fried, then stuffed with everything from steak to chicken or a variety of cheeses. Cisternas and his team also serve the Hamburguesa Caraqueña,
a carnivore’s hamburger topped with ham, bacon, and fried egg.
It was the pepitos, though, the truck’s signature dish — which come in mini ($8), regular ($10), and Gloton ($12) sizes — that everyone seemed to be ordering. “A pepito is a French baguette, with steak and chicken on the grill, avocado, mayonnaise, bacon, potato sticks, and Gouda cheese,” Cisternas says with a huge smile. Be forewarned: By mini, he means half a baguette. Come hungry.
Don Glotón is open five nights a week. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, you can find the trailer parked outside Publix at 134 SW 13th St. from 8 p.m. to midnight. Fridays and Saturdays, the truck moves around the corner to the Walgreens at 200 SW 13th St. until midnight and then relocates to the Design District until 6 a.m.
For now, it’s dinner on wheels. However, a brick-and-mortar Don Glotón is Cisternas' hope for the near future. “We want to expand, si dios quiere
,” he says. "Either here or somewhere in midtown.” For the sake of Miami dining, we hope for both.
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