Eating Through Little Havana With Miami Culinary Tours

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Laine Doss
Miami Culinary Tours guide Grace Della leads us through the food and lore of Little Havana.
It's another scorcher of an afternoon in Miami. The sun beats down as I meet Grace Della and Mirka Harris from Miami Culinary Tours.

I'll be taking their Saturday-afternoon tour of Little Havana, and although I've lived in Miami for almost a decade, I know there's much I need to learn about this neighborhood located less than ten minutes from my home.

Grace Della, founder of Miami Culinary Tours, leads the group and explains that not only will we make six stops to taste the food of Little Havana, but also we'll explore some galleries and learn about the history and culture.

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Laine Doss
Augusto Gainza shows off a sketch at his Little Havana gallery
We step inside Augustino Gainza Gallery, where the artist shows us a sketch of one of the women he draws. Another art stop takes us to Molina Gallery, where artist Molina Della paints Santería saints and African goddesses in vibrant colors. This is the first but not the last Santería reference on the tour, marking the fact that this Caribbean-based hybrid of Catholicism and the African Yoruba religion is alive and well.

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Laine Doss
Fried garbanzo beans at Casa Panza in Little Havana
Our first food stop is the Spanish restaurant Casa Panza. Seated at a communal table, we are offered Chilean Cabernet, potato salad, chorizo, and fried garbanzos. I can't help but think that this food would not be out of place at a Fourth of July picnic, because the chorizo wasn't spicy and resembled the little wieners that you fish out of a church potluck casserole. After a brief pep talk about Little Havana (it's safe in the daytime, our guide Grace assures us), it's on to the next stop.


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3 comments
Babykakes
Babykakes

I enjoyed your commentary. Planning a tour soon myself!

Foodbrat
Foodbrat

I know it is a tourist thing,but we should have more.

Good to see the city actually prideful in itself!Mb

EatUp
EatUp

nice writeup.  not many people actually explore the city they live in.

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