Hot Plates: Veronica Gessa at Mercadito

Veronica Gessa is a sassy and well accessorized Mercadito hostess. She's of Cuban descent and is a Miami native.The spunky 21-year old lures in patrons nightly with her long black hair and sultry dark eyes. And she boasts a confidence level only seen in locals. As she stands at the entrance of the eatery, pretty much everyone flirts with her. But the vibrant hostess just shoots them smiles and seats the next party.

New Times: How long have you worked at Mercadito?

Veronica Gessa: My first night was Cinco de Mayo. I was baptized by fire.

What is your favorite cocktail? Mercadito's little market. It's made with tequila reposada, fresh pineapple, chile guajillo and pico piquin. It's refreshing and fruity but the tequila retains its flavor.

What is your favorite Mercadito entrée?

The Chile relleno. It's a poblano stuffed with seafood.

What do you think is the sexiest item on the menu?

Mecadito's big nose goes to Mexico. They light it on fire and that's hot. And all of the ceviches are sexy.

Do you ever get hit on while at work?

Always, everyday. And not just by customers.

How do you handle your suitors?

With a smile and with that, you will never have me look. I once got

tipped $100 to seat someone, even though there were plenty of tables

available. It was a Tuesday. They always want to talk to you about their

boats. Or they point to their cars outside.

What makes Mercadito sexy?

The ambiance they have created and the art everywhere. The artist was

once a graffiti artist and I think graffiti is hot. And the music is

awesome. And of course the staff. It's like a lounge here, so everyone

can sit really close in the booths.

What makes Mercadito stand out?

Our menu is one of the most creative around. I am obsessed with the food here.

Tell me about your best day at work.

It was a Sunday during our brunch. We have an all you can eat and drink

brunch. That particular day it was crazy packed and everyone was so happy.

There was so much energy. I don't know if it was just because everyone

was drunk, but it was great.

Where you like to party after work?

I host parties at the Electric Pickle. And I love going to Bar after

work. I bring leftover guacamole. I also love going to Grand Central,

Louis, Rokbar, Coco de Ville...I go out a lot.

3252 NE 1st Ave., Midtown
786-369- 0430

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