Tuesday, November 1, 2011

south florida!

A couple weeks ago, my dad had a business conference in South Florida and invited my mom (of course), me and the little man for the trip!  We had a great time and I spent every day at the beach researching restaurants for that night's dinner :)  
I was in heaven.
:)


Our first night was in Boca Raton and we got a recommendation for Cuban!
Padrino's Cuban Cafe 
We got:
Masas de Puerco - Fried pork chunks topped with grilled onions and sweet plantains and yucca with raw garlic.
We gave it:
A+, the pork was oh-so-tender and perfectly paired with the grilled onions.  The yucca was very good with the raw garlic in oil but the plantains were a bit greasy.




We got:
Chuletas de Puerco - Two center cut pork chops grilled with onions with plantain tostones, yellow rice, and yucca with raw garlic.
We gave it:
A-, the chops were a bit tough and the tostones were a bit dry but the grilled onions, yellow rice, and yucca were all very good.




The following day, we ventured out to the Morikami Museum and Gardens in Boca Raton.  We strolled around the grounds and then had lunch at the famed Cornell Cafe, which was once featured on the Food Network.
We got:
Edamame - Steamed and lightly seasoned soybeans.
Pork Gyoza - Wok seared crescent shaped dumplings filled with pork and shredded vegetables served with a light soy-vinegar sauce.
Egg Rolls - Crispy egg rolls stuffed with shredded vegetables and pork.
We gave it:
A++, it was all very excellent!  A bit pricey, but totally worth it.  After our rather warm stroll, we weren't in the mood for a whole lunch so we just ordered appetizers and dessert :)








We got:
Green Tea and Red Bean ice cream
We gave it:
A++, fabulous!!  The green tea was unique and not too sweet and the red bean was just fantastic.  Tasted a bit like amaretto cherry.




The view! 
A++








The next night, we headed to Rocksteady Jamaican Jerk Cafe in Boca Raton.  We wanted to try something a little different and Rocksteady got very high ratings on UrbanSpoon.
We got:
Jerk Chicken with rice and sweet plantains.  Served with Rocksteady's famous sauce.
We gave it:
A++, the chicken was spicy and fantastic!!  The sauce was out of this world.  They sell it and you better believe we took a big bottle home!




We got:
Brown Stew Chicken, served with rice and sweet plantains.
We gave it:
Another A++, the chicken was super tender and super spicy.  The sauce was pooling over into the rice and that made it all the tastier.  The sweet plantains weren't greasy at all and perfectly tender. 




We got:
RockSteady Jerk Chicken Sandwich - Grilled Boneless Jerk Chicken with Avocado, Bacon, Tomato, Plantains, Provolone Cheese, and Rocksteady's own Jerk Mango Mayo on cocoa bread, served with Rocksteady's famous sauce.
We gave it:
Yet another A++!  The cocoa bread (a Jamaican speciality) was soft and doughy and perfect with the spicy sweet chicken.  The avocado and plantains on the sandwich added a touch of richness and the bacon, a little salty bite.  Excellent!




A couple nights later, we headed down to Miami, we were recommended a Cuban place, called Versailles.  It is a local, authentic Cuban restaurant in Little Havana that all the local politicos hang out.  Sounded awesome to us! 




We got:
Yuca Frita - fried yucca fries with cilantro mayo
We gave it:
A, the fries were nice and crispy, if a bit big.  The cilantro mayo was excellent!




We got:  Ropa Vieja - This dish (when translated means "old clothes") is a traditional Cuban meal - thinly shredded flank steak prepared in a authentic tomato and wine sauce.
We gave it:
A, the beef was very good but the pork (see below) was better.  And the yellow rice (below) was much better than the plain white.




We got:
The Cuban Sampler - This dish includes ham croquettes, yucca, grilled sweet plantains, two homemade corn tamales stuffed with lean pork, yellow rice, and our signature Macitas De Puerco Fritas, tender shredded pork with grilled onions.
We gave it:
A++, all excellent!  The Macitas de Puerco Fritas were especially fantastic!




We got:
Pollo Asada al Ajillo - Shredded garlic chicken in just the right amount of seasoning with white rice and sweet plantains.
We gave it:
A+, the chicken was very very good!  Nicely seasoned and a ton of it!



Then, we headed over to the equally famous Versailles Bakery for dessert!




We got:
Cuban coffee, guayaba pastry, and caramel flan.
We gave it:
A++, sooo fantastic!!!  The guava pastries were recommended and are excellent!  The flan was creamy and delicious.  And, as I am still off caffeine, my dad said that the coffee was excellent as well.









Our last day, we headed down to Key West.  After a long day of walking up and down Duval Street, we settled on Half Shell Raw Bar for dinner.
We got:
Key West beer steamed peel 'n' eat shrimp
We gave it:
A-, good, but not out of this world




We got: 
Oysters and chips - lightly fried oysters, french fries, and cole slaw
We gave it:
A, nothing like some good old fashioned fried food :)




We got:
The special of the night, freshly caught grilled wahoo with steamed vegetables and rice pilaf.
We gave it:
A, good but wahoo is a meaty fish and that's not necessarily my favorite....I usually prefer flaky fish.




We got:
A double shot of house-made jalapeno vodka, cocktail sauce and a raw oyster
(Dad) gave it:
A+, Excellent and very spicy!





After dinner, we headed back down to Duval Street and picked up a key lime pie on a stick!  (and a regular slice for kicks!)
We gave it:
A+!  Delicious!







We had a wonderfully delicious time and I hope we go back soon!!  

2 comments:

  1. This food seriously looks amazing.
    You're so lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was excellent! And I am very blessed :)

    ReplyDelete

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