It was a pleasant Wednesday afternoon and we were famished. We had our eyes on this recently opened restaurant for a while and were in the mood for Latin food.
Hacienda Real serves breakfast all day so we started with the scrambled eggs that were served with French fries, bacon and a cup of coffee. It was substantial and the children enjoyed every morsel – it is always a good thing to have breakfast anytime of the day. There is an additional $2.00 charge if ordered after regular breakfast hours though.
The Bistek Encebollado was a disappointment. Encebollado means “with lots of onions” in Spanish but there were hardly any in this dish. I am not sure what cut of beef was used but it certainly tasted like a very inexpensive cut. It was dry and way too salty. The presentation was also painfully plain. Would it hurt to add a sprig of parsley in order to brighten up the plate?
The CamaroFongo was perplexing. It was shrimp cooked in coconut milk encased in mofongo - a dish of mashed plaintains special to Dominicans but actually originated in Puerto Rico. The shrimp quickly disappeared, as they were delicious. The sauce was succulent, creamy with a beautiful color. The mofongo on the other hand was too hard and dry, maybe because it was a bit cold?
One major issue with our experience at Hacienda Real Restaurant was the service. It took at least twenty-five minutes to get the menu and drinks and half hour to get the food after ordering. There was only one waitress to serve twelve people and the other members of the staff never pitched in to lend her a hand, even though she was obviously in the weeds and not smiling at all.
There was one detail that abolished the feeling of pity towards the waitress though. The servings were generous so most patrons take the leftovers home. I observed her packing up doggie bags for three tables but when it came to us, she practically threw the containers and the plastic bag on the table for us to pack it ourselves. That was just discourteous and impolite.
The restaurant is owed and operated by four Dominican sisters and their mother and offers dishes from Dominican Republic, Latin America and the Caribbean. They also have a large wine selection and full bar. The ambiance was warm and cozy but the food left a lot to be desired and the service was simply dreadful.
They will not get a second visit from us.
11735 SW 147th Ave
Miami, FL 33196
By Miami Food Critic, Brenda Benoit