Monday September 17, 2007

What is the best Mexican restaurant in Miami? Update: A review of Rosa Mexicana by Alex, who also has thoughts pertinent to this question.

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  1. otto    Mon Sep 17, 05:18 PM #  

    Tres Amigos

  2. YellowCake    Mon Sep 17, 05:33 PM #  

    Rancho Grande

  3. harumi    Mon Sep 17, 05:51 PM #  

    tres amigos. I tried to go there, but where do I supporsed to park?? wendy’s?? or block away on the street??

  4. Biscayne Bystander    Mon Sep 17, 07:35 PM #  

    This is a tough one.

    Verdaddy’s Taco Shop is around the corner AND they deliver. The food is not so much what I think of as authentic Mexican, but it is easily the best taco, nacho, and steak fejitas in town.

    El Toro Taco in Homestead is great Mexican food. They got the best platters. When I went they treated us like family & was even allowed to bring my own alcohol!

    Which is best? BYOB edges out delivery, but when push comes to shove, it’s in fucking Homestead.

    Verdaddy’s is my pick.

  5. mapache    Mon Sep 17, 07:49 PM #  

    i like rosa mexicano on mary brickell village.
    salsa is always fresh and the chef is authntic mexican person. they have a couple in new york city.
    not just taco and damn burritos which are not even mexican.
    they have chile relleno and other great mexican plates.

  6. alesh    Mon Sep 17, 08:53 PM #  

    Biscayne~ I think Homestead has to be excluded. The quality of the Mexican food down there is so incredible (there’s a place we always go to down there… it’s called Nicamex now, and it’s still pretty good, but it used to be out-of-da-world under previous ownership).

    Tres Amigos is the stock answer, and it IS pretty damned good.

    Has anybody else been to Rosa Mexicano? Alex just reviewed it (more input into the question at that link). To address his questions, I’m not considering TexMex, only “real” Mexican food.

    The thing about regional varieties is true for sure, but it seems pretty rare to find restaurants in the US that are that differentiated? (The same thing happens with Chinese food too, and of course Chinese food is even more varied (and different from it’s American counterpart).)

    In addition to regional varieties, there is a distinction to be made (this is frequently forgotten in all international cuisine) between common food from the country and fine dining.

  7. Grog Argh    Tue Sep 18, 08:34 AM #  

    SOME (not all) of the signs that tell you, you are getting BAD Mexican food (aka What I usually get when I eat Mexican food in Miami)

    1) You get GROUND BEEF in any beef dish. (except Picadillo, which YES, is also found in Mexican cooking – Cubes don’t own that)
    2) Your food is totally covered with AMERICAN CHEDDAR CHEESE.
    3) Any “enchilada” dish is served not with true enchilada sauce, but a tomato-based red concoction.
    4) Chicken found inside of a food item, like enchiladas, flautas, burritos, etc is cooked BLAND without ANY seasoning (salt doesn’t count). It might sometimes even have that nasty “microwaved chicken” smell and taste.
    5) Your enchiladas were made with FLOUR tortillas instead of the proper CORN tortillas.
    6) NACHOS is a prominent item on the menu and you see many people eating it.
    7) You order a MOLE dish where the sauce tastes like melted semi-sweet chocolate used for making chocolate chip cookies. (no joke)
    8) You are not given a choice with what tortillas you want with your meal, either Flour or Corn – you only get one choice. Asking for the other grants you a blank stare by the waiter.
    9) Your TACOS come in a HARD SHELL like the one from Taco Bell.
    10) Your refried beans are topped with something OTHER than White Cheese crumbles (queso blanco).
    11) Your food is 100% NON-spicy. To truly appreciate Mexican cuisine, IT MUST BE SPICY. This is not to say that is has to be volcanic, but the myriad of PEPPERS used are not to just to add HEAT but FLAVOR. If you remove the PEPPERS to remove the heat, you miss out on the taste as well. (Like in enchilada sauce – its main ingredient is RED CHILES, which can be HOT! NOT TOMATOES!)

    MORE LATER as I recall all my bad experiences since moving here from the Southwest…

  8. Duran    Tue Sep 18, 01:27 PM #  

    Well I’m no Mexican cuisine expert, but my favorite is Paquito’s in North Miami Beach. Take it or leave it.

  9. Adam    Tue Sep 18, 05:43 PM #  

    what?! obviously the Orale truck is the best.

  10. mapache    Tue Sep 18, 08:57 PM #  

    never heard of the Orale truck but it actually sounds real. where the heck is that?

  11. mapache    Tue Sep 18, 08:59 PM #  

    i have to agree with 7. and most of the food served here is for gringos or tex mex not real mexican food. except rosa mexicano and the one in homestead.

  12. alesh    Tue Sep 18, 10:13 PM #  


    I just ate at Paquito’s for the first time yesterday! The food was fine (slightly better then the standard mexican-restaurant stuff you get everywhere), the atmosphere was great, and the service was fucking insulting. Mind you, there were at least a half dozen employees around, and the place was practically empty, but after my friend and I finished eating we were left sitting there while they walked by ignoring us (it’s a little confusing because it wasn’t always obvious who was working there and who wasn’t. the crazy-badness of the situation sort of . . . emerged).

    I was so disgusted I left a <10% tip and left, intending to never return. A post on this might be forthcoming.

    I guess it’s true — Homestead, Rosa, or prepare yourself for the predictable slop.

    OH!: Two decent-to-great places that are now closed: one next to the Texas Taco Factory on US-1, the other at the end of the block across the street from MoCA. Somewhat divey, but I’ve had great meals at both. Anybody have the names?

  13. mapache    Wed Sep 19, 09:43 AM #  

    The one next to the nasty-ass texas taco factory’s name is Taco Rico on US-1, which i find to be pretty decent (me being mexican) and savoury. my friend and I enjoy/ed it very much, didnt know it was closed thou (?!?) you sure about that alesh? that it’s that one? I can say that taco rico has or had a great chipotle sauce, always fresh always good, and the pollo asado is/was awesome. I know Rosa has awesome guacamole that it’s done fresh at your table, and you can say how picante you want it right there and then. its a bit more upscale but totally worth it. also Poblano in the gables is good, totally forgot about poblano. hmmmm

  14. alesh    Wed Sep 19, 10:12 AM #  

    No I’m not sure at ALL. In fact, thinking back, I’m probably way off.

    So yeah, Taco Rico, still open, is great (in a very casual/slightly dirty sort of way).

    BTW, I love(d?) Texas Taco’s chicken burrito. Not in an authentic-Mexican-restaurant sense, but still.

  15. Carolina    Thu Sep 20, 11:02 AM #  

    Rosa Mexicano is hands down one of the best Mexican restaurant in South Florida (Homestead not included). Another amazing, but pricey option is Eduardo de San Angel – 2822 E Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308. Delicious and authentic.

    However, the are other establishments that are OK for a quick lunch and are not too Americanized, such as Verdaddy’s Taco Shop (they use real Mexican sour cream) and Zona Fresca in Fort Lauderdale.

    There is also a whole-in-the-wall place called Antojitos Mexicanos – 3943 Davie Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 – (954) 791-2860. Their food is also pretty tasty and authentic. Construction workers are the only ones I’ve seen eating there.

  16. jordan    Sat Sep 22, 08:22 PM #  


    Burrito Loco in Downtown Miami
    Cancun Grill in Miami Lakes

    And an unique twist that satisfies my Mexican cravings… Honduran restaurants!

    Honduras Maya on 27th Avenue just north of Flagler serves incredible and cheap baleadas – soft tacos with lots of different kind of fillings – similar to a quesadilla.