Nicaraguan fritangas are a type of cafeteria-style restaurant serving home-style ethnic cuisine typical to the region. The food is typically made in large quantities and held in heating trays instead of being made to order. Because of the style of restaurant that fritangas run, prices are usually extremely reasonable and servings are large. A client can order and receive their food within minutes, making them a popular spot for locals throughout the city.
Although there are different fritangas scattered throughout Miami, the closest one to me in Fritanaga Momotombo. I wish I could say that it is serving some of the best Nicaragun food in the city, but sadly, this is not the case. Instead, the food is only adequately prepared, and they are content with relying on the fact that people will come to them just because they are the only fritanga restaurant in the area. On multiple occasions, the preparations of the food have been lackluster and leave with much to be desired. The bistec (beef steak) can be overly dry and tough, the chicken can be grainy and salty, and the stews are somehow lacking in moisture. If I were to recommend anything at all, it would be the carne mechada (shredded beef). Although the beef itself is not of the best quality, the flavor coming from the tomato paste and onion mix is enough to flavor this iteration of the dish. The saving grace at Fritanga Momotombo are the sides, which provide a glimpse of how good Nicaraguan food can actually be. Even though they are the best part of this restaurant’s offerings, I wouldn’t necessarily call them good. The gallo pinto is greasy, with a mush-like yucca, and cold fried cheese. Still, they are much better than the main proteins.
I wish that Fritanga Momotombo had some nearby competition because it would force them to actually step up their game. They rely on their exclusivity in the area to provide them with clients, and there is nothing that hurts me more than seeing a restaurant with potential settle for just mediocre. Sadly, I am one of those customers that come here on a consistent basis for my Nicaraguan fix. I resolve for less than stellar food to avoid making an extended drive, but I am beginning to reconsider this the more and more I think about it.
15888 SW 137th Ave,
Miami, FL 33177
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona