Considered one of Miami’s best by locals, Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop is a restaurant specializing in all aspects of Cuban food. Yea, “Sandwich Shop” follows the easily recognizable name, but you can also find all the Cuban standards plastered on the authentic menu. From black beans, to roast pork, all the dishes coming out of Enriqueta’s kitchen are destination worthy, especially when looking for an overall authentic experience of what a Cuban restaurant should offer.
The “ventanita” experience at Enriqueta’s is as authentic as it gets. In fact, it may be on par with that of the ubiquitous Versailles in Little Havana. The only thing that may be better than the delectable food is the “mi amor” coming from the hospitable employees as they make your daily café con leche. Think of it as the typical diner experience with your waitress calling you “sweetie” with a Latin twist. If you come here enough, you will come to recognize the patrons as frequent customers. This is not a foreign site, as most people that come here find themselves returning, whether it be for the stellar food or the warm service.
Even though you wouldn’t go wrong with ordering a meal, I find myself here for lunch. That means that I can’t indulge in a full meal with hopes of being productive for the rest of the day. This leads me to my go-to Croqueta Preparada. Although I wouldn’t call it the best in the city, this Cuban sandwich further improved by Ham croquettes is my favorite thing on the menu. What sets this Croqueta Preparada apart from others I have sampled throughout Miami is the intense sweetness coming from the ham. The sweetness pairs well with the sweet and creamy croquetas and the slightly vinegary pickles, which are only amplified by the pungent and liberally applied mustard. The croqueta acts as meat glue, holding the rest of the ingredients together. Sadly, this brings me to my only qualms about the sandwich. On more than one occasion, I have received a product that is haphazardly put together, making it an unwieldy item to have. The ham is stacked randomly and the cheese is melted to a point of being almost liquid. Were it not for the croqueta holding everything together, this would become a fork-and-knife endeavor.
Although it may seem like this sandwich is too much trouble, I urge you to try it. It is absolutely mouth-watering and makes a case for being a true Miami icon. I just wish that they put a tad more care into the preparation. Even if you don’t come for the sandwich, I recommend that you attend Enriqueta’s for a truly authentic Miami experience, with “mi amor” and all.
Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
186 NE 29th St, Miami, FL 33137
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona