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¡Bienvenido a Miami! If you feel like you stepped off the plane into a different country you’re not alone. Miami is the only city in America where you can immerse yourself in Latin culture without getting your passport stamped.
By Rick Nazur
105 NE 3rd Ave., Miami, Florida
Peruvian food is world-renowned for unique flavors that combine the traditional with Asian-influenced spices. It also reflects the indigenous practices of the Inca. It’s such an extraordinary cuisine that Lima, Peru is consistently ranked as the home to some of world’s best restaurants. While Miami has plenty of Peruvian options, CVI.CHE 105 does everything just right. As a major fishing nation, Peruvians love seafood and prepare it with imagination. I’d recommend starting out with the grilled octopus and the trio of ceviche. Then move over to the Lomo Saltado, Tacu Lomo or Aji de Gallina. These are some of the dishes that you will find in any Peruvian grandmother’s house, and CVI.CHE 105 does them perfectly. Wash it all down with a Pisco Sour (a South American classic, made with liquor and sour citrus juice) and you’ve just had a traditional Peruvian meal without the airfare.
9227 SW 40th St, Miami, Florida
If you think Americans love red meat, Argentinians love it more. No place displays that love better than Graziano’s. The first thing you’ll see is an open fire pit used to cook meat in the traditional asado fashion. For starters, try the Morcilla (blood sausage), Mollejas de Res (sweetbreads), and of course, the Provoleta– the fried cheese dish that Argentinians have mastered. Or, try a few empanadas. Empanadas are ubiquitous among Latin culture, but Argentinians do them the best. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with anything off an Argentinian grill: Bief de Chorizo (sirloin), Costillar de Res (beef short rib) and my personal favorite, the Entraña (skirt steak). Don’t forget to ask the waiter for some extra chimichurri sauce. If there’s room left for dessert, you can’t miss the Flan de Coco (caramel pudding with coconut shavings) or Panqueques con Dulce de Leche (crepes filled with reduced condensed milk).
8650 Bird Rd, Miami, Florida
No food guide for Miami would be complete without paying homage to its largest population demographic – Cubans. No matter who you ask, they all grew up eating family meals at La Carreta. It’s a foundation of Miami-Cuban culture that has been serving homemade Cuban dishes since 1976. So, go to La Carreta with the locals. The outside will be packed with people sipping on Cuban coffee, eating croquettes, discussing everything from baseball to politics. Inside, the counter is filled with regulars ordering traditional Cuban dishes like Picadillo (ground beef with vegetables) or Tamales en Cazuela (a heavy corn soup). No dish is complete without the typical Cuban side dishes of Arroz con Frijoles Negros (white rice and black beans) and Platanito Maduro (sweet plantains). Leave room for dessert and order yourself a Tres Leches (sweet cake made of evaporated and condensed milk) and top it all off with an order of Cuban coffee, part of the energy that fuels South Florida.