"For years we've been known for amazing mojitos" says Tap Tap general manager Gary Sanon-Jules. Is it because they use Barbancourt rum or because Monday - Friday from 5 - 7 p.m. they serve em' up at half price? Don't know, but at that rate a mojito made with three star rum will only set you back $3.50, five star $4, and 15 year reserve $4.50.
Manager Evelyn Posada says "I came to eat here the first time in about '96, my sister brought me, and I said 'Haitian food, what's that?" I ordered a grilled chicken with watercress. I couldn't stop coming, I was hooked, so I got a job here. This place takes you away. It feels like the Caribbean, not South Beach. Katherine "KeKe" Keene is the owner. She's a filmmaker, activist, idealist, fighter for democracy, a wonderful lady, it's just a pleasure to work here with her."
I caught Tamara Tomczak in the flash of my camera walking the South Beach mile between the restroom and her table. Of her mojito she said "It was good, it was very very good. I think I'll vote for them."
Tap Tap is locked in battle with The Florida Room at The Delano for the best mojito in Miami.
Ben Dupuy (above middle) has been going to Tap Tap for about 16 years. He says, "In terms of gastronomy, the food is quite different from what they call 'quick food,' and it's very clear that people appreciate very much what I would call the Haitian culinary tradition."
Milawna Hammer, the main bartender says she can easily move 150 mojitos on a busy night and can make them with her eyes closed, but her favorite drink is the Natif, which uses the same type and amount of rum, but uses pure lime and sugar. She let me try one and I have to agree I liked it better.
Gary Sanon-Jules tells me the restaurant will close for renovation in June and be back open about a month later in a more green capacity. "We wanna open back up with a bang and do the right thing for the environment as well." They already use organic meat like Poulet Rouge chicken, Kurobuta pork, and Bill Nyman goats, so look out for organic micro-greens and total environmental consciousness.
Tap Tap is located at 819 Fifth Street, Miami Beach, Florida 33139. Call 305-672-2898 or visit http://www.taptaprestaurant.com/