I walked up to Cafeina and knew that this was not an ordinary place. In the mist of Wynwood there is a treasure worth discovering .... it was Sunday and I went for brunch with my daughter and was pleasantly surprised when we walked into this tranquil & beautiful space that immediately made us smile with anticipation.
We ordered three dishes: the crab cakes, shrimp ceviche and the waffles. While waiting, I decided to walk around and was amazed by the colorful “graffiti” on the walls of the parking lot and the open-air market. We were surrounded by art everywhere.
The first dish arrives: a handsome crab cake draped with a fried egg and accompanied with a homemade sauce of purple onions, tomatoes, cilantro and other secret ingredients. I have never seen a crab cake served with a fried egg before so this was new to us. My daughter snatches the egg and eagerly eats its. I tell her that the crab cake is all mine then.
I gently taste the crab cake and I am amazed at how succulent and full of crab it is, big crab pieces, golden brown on the outside and creamy on the inside. Pure art on a plate. I still have the taste memory on my tongue.
Next came the Shrimp Ceviche. I am a ceviche aficionada and love it in all forms and this version grabbed my taste buds. The combination of ingredients was genial and the dollop of avocado on the top, sprinkled with pepper was just....extraordinary.
For the grand finale: waffles. These are no ordinary looking waffles. This was my daughter’s dish and I had no intention of tasting it, it looked too sweet. I was watching her eat this with such relish that I decided that I wanted a taste. Heaven!
It was sweet but a delicate sweet. I am not a dessert fan but when you combine bacon with maple syrup and berries with a soft and crunchy waffle there is nothing to do but thank the food Gods for good Chefs.
I would recommend this place as an antidote to stress, hangovers and boredom. A place unique in Miami.
They describe themselves as a “ multi-room, resto-lounge and gallery with a lush outdoor garden”. And they are absolutely right.
I had a little chat with Ivette Naranjo a.k.a. “THE BOSS” and asked her why they called this place Cafeina. She said that coffee is very important in Colombia, where she is from, and wanted to give tribute to that.
297 Northwest 23rd Street
Miami, FL 33127
By Contributor Writer and Photographer Brenda Benoit