On the eve of my last night in Miami, all brushed and tucked in bed, I turned over toward Arya and posed the question…what was the best meal of the trip?
Interestingly enough, it was not the trendy Thai tapas place (with the 90 minute wait) that Gerardo, our island driver, talked up as he dropped us at the beach. It was not the perfectly roasted papad dipped in refreshing tamarind date chutney that we enjoyed at Mumbai Darbar on Christmas Day. It was not the flavorful yellow arroz that we devoured at a popular Cuban restaurant. It was not the relaxed vibe at Green Street Cafe as we munched on french toast and watched puppies and flip-flops passing by on the sunshined street. It was not the robust sandwiches with French Riviera dressing from La Sandwicherie.
It was far simpler.
Pick up a scooter on Miracle Mile and go straight for approximately eleven minutes down the block, round the corner, and you’d be there. Take a number. Wait for your turn. Keep your ears peeled. Be ready when the time comes. If you don’t know Spanish…well, good luck to you. I have faith, that it will all turn out just fine in the end.
Cafe Versailles. A Cuban bakery, sitting on the brink of Little Havana, and filled with life!
A frenzy of people pack themselves in front of the glass cases, deciding what to order. The ladies with the power, dressed in red, are yelling out the numbers, pausing barely a breath before moving on to the next one if they don’t see a wave. The barista machine hissing and frothing. The orange juicer squelching. The drawer of the cash register opening and shutting, opening and shutting. Bakers in white, push everyone aside as they parade out of the kitchen with trays of fresh pastries. And among the chaos, old men sit, sipping slowly on their cafécitos.
Dare I say, we went there enough times for the ladies to know our drink orders by heart.
I’m sure you’re wondering, what was it, that was just SO good?
Well, of course, I tried a number of things out of curiosity…the guava pastelitos were flaky and interesting. The croquetas had a nice flavor but you know, I’m not a huge fan of fried food. The fruit tart looked the part and that was mostly it. The baked spinach and cheese empanadas were fantastic for sure..But what really stole my heart was the tostada cubana alongside a té con leché.