I come here all the time, is my little time to relax and take that moment to reflect on things, yes, this might sound dramatic, but cafe Cubano goes very well everyday drama. When I moved To Miami from San Francisco, I was still hooked on Starbucks (admitted) but it only took one sip of a cafe Cubano to convert me. El Exquisito Restaurant in Little Havana is a unique place because here I feel I am surrounded by family. I don't know exactly what it is about this place.
They prepare the perfect cafe Cubano, just the way I like it; dark and sweet. But it is not only about that, it has to be at a perfect temperature. If it is too hot, its ruined and if it is too cold I won't even touch it. At El Exquisito they hit all the notes - Norma at the coffee station truly masters the art of cafe cubano, and what else you would expect from a place where the people that run it are Cubans, they have to know how to prepare that perfect colada, and they do.
Another bite here that could be quite unusual for people (that are not from Miami) are tostones, right here on the picture above you can see the exact way they serve it, just like that, a "tostones portion" comes with mojo, a garlicky sauce that will keep your enemies away (trust me). But this is the way it is, you dip the tostones which are pieces (thick slices) of green plantain double fried.
Also, I heard from one of the waitresses that in Cuba they sprinkle the tostones with lime juice. It sounds strange, I never tried it but it sounds different.
Today it was a hard day for me, I was helping a big national channel shoot in Little Havana and I realized how much I have learned about the Cuban cuisine and culture, I am not Cuban but I feel they are my family, they take care of me, from my top editor snobbish best friend to Norma who prepares the cafe Cubano, I feel I found in Miami that family that I miss so much from my native country.
1510 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135