Any good Cuban will tell you there are good croquetas and great ones. The good ones are crunchy and chewy and leave a comforting layer of grease on your hands. The great ones are a dichotomy of flavors and textures with a warm crispy, salty layer on the outside and a soft, gooey creamy filling.
Ricky Bakery II on Coral Way has more than 46 varieties of pastelitos, bocaditos, empanadas and croquetas all neatly displayed behind several large counters. It opens at 6 a.m., perfect for your morning artery-clogging commute, but the baking continues all day. If you ask nicely, they will fry up a fresh batch of croquetas while you wait.
On a recent visit, I walked out of the store with about 40+ croquetas. Everyone wanted to make sure I got a nice sampling for my first croqueta buying experience, so how could I decline?
On the car ride home, the smell of freshly fried cheese and ham filled the air. I could not resist having three before I even made it into my driveway. I had planned an ambitious Cuban meatloaf, but instead I put most of them on a plate. I opened a nice bottle of Mencina wine, Dominio de Tares Baltos, and ate them one by one.
Ricky Bakery II
3115 SW 22nd Street, Coral Gables