4. Little Havana.
|Flan at North Miami's Little Havana|
North Miami is a bit far from the mecca of Cuban eateries: Calle Ocho and West Little Havana. But we just love tamarind. And North Miami's Little Havana restaurant has pork or chicken tamarind -- thin, juicy cuts of meat served in a vibrant, citric sauce. The restaurant also serves classics: chunks of fried pork, bistec de palomilla, and a mighty fine tamal con mojo. Sure, it's pricier than many of the other joints in town (usually about $11 to $12 per dish). The eatery makes up for it with service and all-around good eats. And the tamarind. Definitely the tamarind.
3. Islas Canarias.
|Batido de trigo and picadillo at Islas Canarias|
Sure, the fare at Islas Canarias is delectable. Their picadillo is studded with sliced green olives, layered with rich stewed tomatoes and other all-around mysterious, hearty flavors. Yet it's the smaller things that charm at this eatery near West Flagler. There are old-school cash registers -- the kind that ring every time they are opened. There are loud blenders -- the type that erupt into a whirling fury whenever a patron orders a batido. And there is a worn coffee machine -- the ones that gurgle and splatter for each request for a cafecito. That's why enjoying a meal of bistec and arrocito at Isla Canarias' counter cannot be beat.
4070 W. 12th Ave., Hialeah, FL
1201 W. 44th Place, Hialeah, FL
700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL
12727 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami, FL
5721 W. Flagler St., Miami, FL