Thursday August 24, 2006
Of all the restaurants in Miami, Tap-Tap is my favorite. I’ve eaten there more often then anywhere else (except maybe the two Taco Bells near my work), and dragged friends, family, girlfriends, friends of family, and just about anyone else there, sometimes kicking and screaming. When I have this much to say about something, it’s often best to ignore the reader’s needs and resort to bullet points:
- The best mojito in South Florida. It’s made with brown sugar and gigantic pieces of mint, and looks like dirty river water. Friends, you haven’t lived.
- omg the stews. Lamb, chicken, shrimp, conch, whatever. The stews are always a good choice.
- Every single surface in the place: all the walls, the tables, the chairs, the floors, everything is painted and decorated with intricate designs and images. Every wall is a mural.
- It’s pretty Americanized. At worst, you’ll have to pick chicken meat off the bone. Those in the mood for a more distinctive experience can always check out La Vraie Difference.
- Bass on tap. Praise Jesus.
- The desserts. I’m not normally much of dessert person but these are long on coconut and banana, which works for me.
- Smashed and friend plantains with every meal. Plus a weird super-spicy cabbage condiment thing that I can’t get enough of. Plus your choice of several varieties (!) of rice and beans.
- Oh, so by the way, a tap-tap is a pickup truck converted to a jitney, and painted and decorated in bright, ostentatious colors. One of the restaurant’s vehicles was featured prominently in the first episode of The Real World Miami.
- Live music on (I believe) Fridays and Saturdays, as well as special appearances by various performers. I once saw a theatrical performance by some master percussionists from Haiti there (this is prob 3+ years ago) that I’m still recovering from.
- The prices: they’re shockingly reasonable. If this place were a few blocks further east, it could get away with being twice as expensive. On the other hand, it does get busy. I dropped in on a Saturday recently, only to find a party of about twenty people waiting to be seated, and the owner not in any particular mood to be apologetic about not knowing how long the wait would be. If you want food on a friday or saturday night, make a reservation.
- I almost forgot… the fried pork! My all-time favorite. You douse it with some provided lime juice, or the aforementioned spicy cabbage, and you’ll never be happier. I want some right NOW.
I recommend going early and often, and taking out-of-town guests here. It’s actually a little absurd that I’ve been doing this blog for well over a year, and haven’t properly written about Tap-Tap.
819 Fifth Street
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