Monday, December 08, 2008

Art Basel Restaurant Recap, Day One. Nopales...

Yes I could bore you to death rhapsodizing about the huge slab of chocolate cake at the restaurant at the Mondrian, and don't worry, I will (it's disgusting, in a word), but the best meals my out of town guests and a few lucky fair-goers and I had were at some local favorites. And so I trade in the 'usual suspects' for my own list of 'UNusual suspects'. Starting with the required trip down to Li'l Havana for some 'Cuban' cigars. And that brought us to 'Mi Rinconcito', about which I've rhapsodized many times, including in the Miami SunPost , and elsewhere on this blog.

The new and improved Mi Rinconcito is still the best Mexican food in Miami. The special the other day was 'Tortitas de Pollo en Salsa Verde con Nopales'. I did not know what to expect so I was surprised at what looked like crabcakes, but with chicken (the waitress had described them as "like chicken meatballs", which they weren't at all). The 'nopales' are fresh cactus that is first boiled and then cut into strips, and laid over the chicken patties, which are basically poached chicken breasts that are shredded, formed into a patty with egg whites, and then finished on the grill (or griddle, if you prefer). The nopales really reminded me of okra, which I love, but a little less slimy. Incredible. Also the green sauce was just like I had remembered it, smooth and spicy. The chicken held its flavor, and had a crunchy crust that was an added bonus.

This restaurant has doubled in size, but the service has stayed smooth and friendly, and, just as importantly, the Tecate is still frosty and inexpensive. One of the best restaurants on Calle Ocho, incidentally, and a nice break from Cuban food. More to come on their holiday treats. They have added a bakery and have one of the most interesting dessert items I've eaten this year, corn cheesecake. As I have said earlier, incredible.

The one on the top left is the corn cheesecake, which they also sell by the slice.

Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
1961 SW 8th St (Calle Ocho)
Miami, FL
Open 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily