These little croqueta tubes in the picture above might just be the best $.95 spent in Miami. Around here, croquetas are synonymous with water, meaning that they are essential to life. In such a diverse city, people are bound to disagree about many things, but the question about where the best croquetas can be found is not one of them. If people agreed about politics and other issues like they do about this, the world may be a better place. 9 out of 10 people in Miami will tell you that the best croquetas in the city can be found at Islas Canarias, and the one person to tell you otherwise has not tried the heavenly fritters from this restaurant or they’re just trying to spite you.
Croquetas are a breaded fritter filled with a mixture of a certain ingredient (ham, beef, fish, cheese) and béchamel. You would think that the variation from restaurant to restaurant would not be so big, and you would be right. No matter how bad a croqueta is, it is bound to be satisfying in a way a French fry is. I hate to advocate that frying something makes it better, but I have yet to find a croqueta I wouldn’t eat. But somehow, Islas Canarias manages to differentiate itself from other restaurants by making the most creamy and luscious croquetas around. I am partial to the Ham croquetas, as they provide the contrast between a crunchy exterior and creamy exterior that you should look for in a properly made croqueta. The seasonings border on the point of being too strong, but right before you become overwhelmed with flavor, it mellows down and leaves a velvety and unctuous feeling on your tongue. They are always made fresh to order and come out piping hot. Just like a potato chip, you can’t just have one, and it is not uncommon to see people ordering them by the boxes. If you order them to eat at the restaurant, they will be served with saltine crackers and a slice of lemon, basically hinting that you should make a bite sized sandwich using the ingredients provided. It may seem a bit simple, but the crackers provide an even crunchier texture to help contrast the creaminess from the fritter, and the lemon cuts back the richness from the fact that the thing you are eating is fried. Basically, it is a perfect bite. No Cuban meal is complete without a croqueta appetizer, but the croquetas at Islas Canarias are so good I would even make a meal out of them.
13695 SW 26th St, Miami, FL 33175
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona