Grace Della, founder of Miami Culinary Tours and Miami Food Expert, is interviewed by the Travel Channel on local cuisine.
Announcer: Cities don’t come hotter than Miami, where the beautiful people fly to for sandy beaches, sizzling night-life, and of course fabulous food. And because so much of life is lived out doors here, the street food culture is one of the oldest and best in America.
Grace Della: I would consider street food the ventanitas, the little food windows. They’re everywhere. And that’s where Miami ends. That’s where we get our finger foods, like the empanadas, croquettes.
A: Grace Della founded Miami Culinary Tours. And like so many here, she kickstarts the day with a Cuban coffee from El Pub, in the Little Havana neighborhood. Their street window brews this rocket fuel exactly the way they learned it in Cuba.
G: People will drive from all over Miami just to come here to have the coffee from Betty. This is heaven on Earth.
A: These new arrivals on the street eat scene are making waves: the food trucks. But they’re not on every corner, yet. On the second Saturday of the month, this food caravan circles up in the Wynwood Art District. So if you want potstickers with your paintings, there’s Dim Ssam A Gogo truck. They’ve got unusual takes on Asian foods, like melt-in-your-mouth duck with spicy mayo, pickle and chili sauce on a potato roll.
G: It just makes a perfect combination.
A: And this unusual concoction.
Chef: It’s a spicy, cheesy tater tots with a kalbi short rib on the top. So it’s a mash-up of my Korean influence now with my American upbringing.
A: Over at Moty’s Grill truck, it’s a continent of different flavor: Kosher, dairy-free mediterranean dishes, like falafel and shawarma (that’s chicken parts pressed together, marinated and grilled on a giant spit.).
Chef: They have 15 spices, and it’s made fresh. It’s many layers of chicken thighs. It’s a young chicken.
A: The Rolling Stove is known for bringing the heat.
Chef: We specialize in spicy. We do a lot of jerk stuff. Real American food also. I do a chicken that I bread in Cap’n Crunch cereal and make sandwiches out of that. Lots of pulled pork. We make a killer burger. Our burgers have short rib, brisket, rib eye and bacon in the mix.
Customer: It’s really. really good. It’s so fresh and juicy. And the barbeque is so zesty and it’s sweet.
A: And even grilled cheese gets a galloping gourmet twist at Ms. Cheezious truck. You can add anything from crab salad to bacon to orange marmalade to 8 different types of cheeses and breads.
Customer: This is, I think mozzarella and tomato We added some prosciutto and basil. It tastes like Italy.
A: Creating, cooking and serving these street eats means long days and cramped, hot kitchens, but it’s a labor of love.
Chef: I just love being with the people. So you get to see the people as they’re enjoying their food, whereas if you’re in a kitchen or restaurant, you’re in the back. You don’t get that hands-on as much. You get to see smiles as soon as possible.