Friday, February 10, 2012

Starting Fresh, In Miami

Its a new year...okay, its February, But you have to start somewhere.  I've been waiting for the inspiration to build.  And you know what, its brimming to the top.  It all started with a long overdue trip to Miami to visit friends I have not seen in about five years.  They asked me what I wanted to do while I was down there.  Naturally, my response was eat all of your favorite foods, see your favorite sites, and obviously spend some much overdue time with you.  I had been to Miami in 2007 on the heels of quitting a job in the Everglades where I literally thought that I was going to get eaten by alligators, a fear perpetuated by an alligator biting the front of an airboat I was riding on a four o'clock in the morning, or die in a small plane crash.  Several co-workers did actually die in a small plane crash.  .......  This is why you always have to listen to your gut.

*actual photo of myself in Everglades*

So I've listened to mine.  It says feed me.  Fill me with the most delicious things that life has to offer.  Let's start with the soul food of Miami.  Some call it North Cuba, I'm not sure if that's offensive.  Either way, one cannot go to Miami and not partake in the wonderment that is Cuban food.  Let's start out at Ayestaran Restaurant near Calle Ocho (8th Street) .  Everyone I spoke to has hailed this as the place for Cuban food.  Let me explain.....

Bistec De Pollo Empanizado Con Moros Y Maduros - chicken steak breaded, black beans & rice mixed and fried plantains. 

Make no mistake about the unassuming presentation offered here.  Amazing food is amazing food.  If you can't get past the simplicity, go someplace else.  You are the one who is missing out.  The breaded chicken is the juiciest I have ever had.  By the way, when you go to the south, and yes Miami is the south, eat some chicken....seriously..... It will blow your mind.  I used to make fun of my friend for his obsession with Haitian fried chicken and chicken in all its other forms.  But you know what, he was right.  There's a reason people cannot stop eating it.  Its because it is delicious.  Now, go eat some fried chicken!  Here's dessert....

Colada & Flan - Cuban espresso (rocket fuel) brewed with sugar to be very sweet.  It is meant to be shared with four or more people.  And the flan.... it needs no introduction.

Just eat and drink this and you will understand.  You know why this is so damn good?  Its because you can taste the love, the tradition, and its fierceness.  Have you ever tasted love?  No?  Get some of this.

Ayestarán on Urbanspoon


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