Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I EAT: Puerto Sagua, Miami

The plan had been to venture into Little Havana for a traditional Cuban meal, but when we heard about Puerto Sagua- a hole-in-the-wall, authentically Cuban restaurant just down the street on Collins Avenue- we decided to traipse down there instead. It was the perfect no-fuss dinner to follow up our extravagant dinner at Barton G's the night before. No frills, no extravagant bill at the end. Just some hearty, home-cooked Cuban food. 

Read more after the jump!

If you're thinking of dropping by Puerto Sagua for dinner, be prepared for quite a line. The place was packed when we arrived, but thankfully the line moved pretty quickly. 

J ordered the Pernil Asado (featured above): roasted pork shoulder with moro rice and yuca. It may look messy, but Puerto Sagua knows what's it doing. The pork was succulent, tender, and relatively mild-flavored. Which made it pair perfectly with the hearty moro rice (black beans + rice). 

J and I ordered juices and the perfect crispy croquette to start. J had the papaya juice, and I had the soursop juice which was perfectly refreshing.

I went for the Ropa Vieja: shredded beef served with white rice and sweet plantains. Having been raised in Southeast Asia, every now and then (ok, all the time) I crave flavorful meat "curries". The pairing of such a meat dish with some warm, fluffy rice is unbeatable; it's my idea of comfort food. The Ropa Vieja more than met this standard. The beef is fall-apart-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce was spicy, full-bodied perfection.

To wrap our meal up, J and I ordered the Cuatro Leches cake: four milk cake. I'm sure most, if not all, of you have heard of or tried Tres Leches cake, but Cuatro Leches cake? This was my first time coming across such a thing! And it was magnificent. Don't be fooled by the tiny portion. J and I split it, and we didn't make our way through. The spongy cake was soaked in sweet "milk", topped with gooey caramel. In other words, it's almost enough to induce diabetic shock. That would be my only criticism. The Cuatro Leches cake is delightfully sinful... but only in small quantities.

After the meal, J and I scooped ourselves out of our seats and waddled our way home. The next day we were leaving Miami, and we wanted to get a fresh start to squeeze in some more adventuring before boarding our flight home. But more on that later!

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