El Floridita: $9.95 Lunch Deal and Damn Good Croquetas

Daniel and Barbara Mejia have been pleasing patrons at their El Floridita Seafood Restaurant on Bird Road for the past decade (and doing likewise at their Kendall location for four years). What's not to like about a family-friendly seafood restaurant with an extensive menu of over 100 items and an astonishing $9.95 lunch special that brings soup or salad, hefty main dish, dessert and coffee? Plus the fish croquetas, as well as the ham-and-cheese, might be the best in Miami.

That lunch deal can start with a golden grouper broth flecked with

rice. There are 14 entrees to choose from (including grilled shrimp,

palomilla steak, grilled or fried fish fillet, fried chunks of mahi

mahi), each coming accompanied by choice of two side dishes (rice,

plantains, vegetables, and so on). I tried a fresh snapper fillet al

ajillo (garlic sauce). You can pretty much tell from the photo how

tasty it was. Four of five lunch deal desserts are shown in photo --

the flan de huevos is exceptional. And so are the croquetas. Smoky ham

is used for one; end pieces of fresh fish are used for the other; light

bechamel binds both. The breading is clean and crisp -- they are fried

fresh to order.

El Floridita is one of those places at which I am late getting to the

table -- but now that I've discovered it, they had better start

prepping up more croquetas. Guess that's why the motto is Ûn

restaurante al que siempre desearás volver...

El Floridita Seafood Restaurant

8399 SW 40th St.


13501 SW 136th St.


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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein