You're a true Miamian if you drive like shit, bang on pots and pans when the Miami Heat wins, and prefer your guarapo with a side of chicharrón.
You're from Miami if you follow tío Pepe on Twitter, know the best cafecitos in every zip code, and eat churros con chocolate when the temperature drops below 75 degrees.
But maybe you're new to town and you hate being so sunburned and you really miss the esno back home. Fret no longer! What follows are the top ten foods all true Miamians -- native or not -- must try.
10. The Yoyo at Maracuya
You know who really loves fried plantains? Miamians. So when a restaurant slices, batters, deep-fries, and stuffs its sweet plantains with braised meat, cheese, and lettuce, you must eat it. At Maracuya in North Beach, you can sample this ode to all things fried for just $6.25. Choose from chicken, beef, or pork as a filling. Scratch that. Pick the pork. Repeat, do not be a doofus. Real Miamians never pick anything over pork.
9. Chicharrón at El Palacio de los Jugos
Sure, there's loads of variety at El Palacio de los Jugos -- West Flagler's Taj Majal for coco frío, lechón asado, and arroz con gris. But anyone who knows anything about fried pork knows El Palacio has the best chicharrón in town. So keep telling co-workers you drive there every day for some mamey juice. That oil-stained brown bag in your back seat knows the truth!
8. Taco Campechano at Con Sabor a México Carnitas Estilo Michoacán
At Con Sabor a México Carnitas Estilo Michoacán, owner Andrés Tovar keeps it real. He makes offal-stuffed tacos: tongue, stomach, rind, or a mixture of all three. But his most popular variety is the campechano. This fried deliciousness pairs tender pork shoulder meat with crisp bits of chicharrón. Each taco costs $1.75, so go ahead. Order un Jarritos de mango and two or three campechanos. (Bonus: Tovar's pork shoulder is slow-cooked in lard.)
7. Fruity Pebbles Donut at Mojo Donuts
Everybody's got a primo in Hialeah, Miramar, or Pembroke Pines. So when you visit your cuz, stop by Mojo Donuts. This glorious shrine to fried dough sells s'mores doughnuts, peanut butter and chocolate doughnuts, guava doughnuts, dulce de leche doughnuts, and, yes, Fruity Pebbles doughnuts. New rule: Always go for the doughnuts that can turn your milk pretty colors.
6. Edgar Special at La Perrada de Edgar
Miami knows how to take something good and make it great. Hot dog with special sauce and potato chips? That's nice. Hot dog with mozzarella cheese, pineapple, blackberry, plum, and whipped cream? Freakin' great. At La Perrada de Edgar in North Beach, you can go traditional (relish, onion, and mustard hot dog) or insane (shrimp, crab, and pink sauce hot dog). Go insane.
5. Plátano Maduro Ice Cream at Azucar Ice Cream Company
Azucar Ice Cream Company doesn't churn ice cream with yuca or malanga. But the ice-cream shop does churn desserts with avocado, mamey, guava, and sweet plantain (!). This is wonderful because you can then do this: Order a scoop of avocado, sweet plantain, and pumpkin. Voila! Lunch is served.
4. Carne Asada at Pinolandia
The Nicaraguan diet is a study in excess. At Pinolandia, you can order a dish of carne asada, gallo pinto, and fried sweet plantains. But that's not enough. The platter is crowned with a big chunk of squeaky fried cheese. Did you move to Miami a few months ago? Share this dish with a friend. Have you lived here for more than a year? You better eat the whole thing.
3. Pan con Minuta at La Camaronera
La Camaronera is seemingly uncomplicated. Its oysters are fried. Its calamari are fried. Its shrimp are fried. Its sweet chili crispy seafood is fried. Its pan con minuta -- the most iconic fish sandwich in town -- is fried. Cooks at La Camaronera squish ketchup on soft bread and stuff it with fried seafood and chopped onions. The result: This sandwich isn't just good; it's a West Flagler star.
2. Fried Fish at Chef Creole
Jay-Z, Pitbull, Dwyane Wade, Rick Ross, Anthony Bourdain, and Eddie Huang all eat at Chef Creole -- a take-away Haitian restaurant with five locations across Miami-Dade, including Little Haiti. Chef Creole, the owner, is one of the most captivating chefs in town. So visit Little Haiti, order a Corona, and ask for fried fish. Sample rice and sweet plantains. Throw pikliz on everything. But get there early. Like all good things, Chef Creole's fried fish sells out fast.
1. The Pastelito Burger at Pincho Factory
Pincho Factory thinks hamburger buns just aren't enough. So it takes a beef patty and plops it between two pastelitos de guayaba. Is this a joke? No. Is it totally absurd? Possibly. But that's exactly what makes it so great. This colossal burger -- which is served only for brunch -- is more than a meal. It's a Miami emblem.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.
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