Overrated Eats: Versailles

Frommer's "highly recommends" Versailles, touting it as "a glorified diner," where Cuban exiles meet over a cafécito. Travelers on TripAdvisor have awarded it four stars, hail it as the best Cuban food in town. But is it really?

Anyone who visits Miami is automatically pointed toward Versailles as the place to get a great Cuban meal. But if you think about it, that isn't always the case. We aren't saying the food is inedible -- it's solid -- but does it really deserve to be king of all Cuban eateries?

Calle Ocho alone is home to numerous Cuban restaurants, so what makes Versailles so special other than the fact that every time el exilo wants to make a fuss, the parking lot becomes their soapbox?

We can't really blame the place for serving conventional Cuban cuisine -- breaking ground is not really the point here. People go to Versailles because they expect comfort food. But both the service and food seem devoid of abuela's love and passion.

Want really good Cuban? Try a place like Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop in Wynwood -- that's right Wynwood -- which is practically a nook compared to Versailles, but the wait staff is motherly and attentive, and the food not only tastes but feels like your mother's cooking.

And you'll feel liberated if the next time your friend visiting from out of town asks, "Where can I get great Cuban food?" you send them somewhere else.

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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran