When you find yourself shopping in Homestead, FL…

28 06 2011

One of my favorite sources of authentico mexican foodstuffs is Mexico Market in Homestead.  Located right near the Homestead campus of Miami Dade College, this market has good produce, meats and cheeses, lots of imported non-perishables and most importantly, a fresh tortilla maker.

Hot off the tortilla machine at Mexico Market

Fresh Tortillas

Tortillas are sold by weight and come right off the conveyor belt and into your shopping basket.  Eat immediately for best results!

I was also amazed at the selection and sheer mass of pinatas hanging from the ceiling, if you’re thinking of having one for a party, this is the place to go.

Address:  407 Park Place and open 7 days a week.





Taquito Week Continues! Zona Fresca, Plantation and Ole’ Ole’, Plantation

2 06 2011

In fairness to the taquito, I thought I should try a few more, just so I could verify or debunk my self-definition of its name.  See here for previous post.

Zona Fresca

First off, neighborhood favorite Zona Fresca.  I ordered the Taquito meal which is one of their specialties and comes with 3 taquitos of either chicken or steak, rice and beans, and fresh homemade chips.  All for $5.75.

Same as the other dishes that I have tried at Zona Fresca, I was very pleased with the size, taste, freshness, price and overall quality of the meal.  I tried both chicken and steak, and I preferred the chicken as I think the steak can get a little tough in the deep frying process.

While I enjoyed the crispiness of the taquito, I think I prefer their soft tacos, as the flavor remains true for the ingredients, rather than just the fried goodness, which can be a little overwhelming.  I guess maybe my palate is growing up!

Takeout Taquitos

Ole’ Ole’

A few nights later I went to a more formal restaurant, Ole’ Ole’.  They don’t seem to have a website and I think this is the only location.  I’ve eaten there a few times before, mostly out of convenience, but its never really wowed me.  They also offer a number of cuban dishes along with the mexican ones, which is kind of weird.

The decor is dark and kind of cheesy, not what I’d expect from a place that charges an average of $12 for an entrée.  They do offer coupons in ValPak on a regular basis, so its worth scrounging one up before you go.  OK, on to the food.

The chips were very warm and fresh — you know, the kind you can’t stop eating when they are right in front of you.  Well, at least I can’t. The salsa was also good, and if you ask they will bring you their green salsa, which is all jalapeños — excellent if you can take the heat.

Confession here — I actually ordered the flautas from the menu, but since they are the flour (vs corn) version of the taquito, I cut myself some slack.  I had one steak and one chicken.  The shredded steak was flavorful, but quite honestly tasted like something leftover from one of the cuban meals.  It just didn’t taste mexican.

Unfortunately, the steak was better than the chicken.  It was actually inedible and I really thought that it would make me sick.  The server was very understanding and got me another steak one to replace it — and I found out later than another person in my party also sent back their chicken dish as it tasted funny to them as well.

Flauta Platter, Ole Ole

I guess thats why I don’t think of Ole’ Ole’ when I want to eat good mexican food!





Lime — Plantation, FL

17 04 2011

Lime

OK, so I can be a slacker at this.  I’m good at the eating part of writing a blog, but tend to get sidetracked and forget to share the news.  Especially reprehensible because I was actually at the new Lime in Plantation on their second day open and got to see how awesome they were with no experience or practice in this new location.

I had heard that they were coming to Plantation, but that was months ago, so I figured that the plan went bust.  So imagine my surprise when I ran into some friends that were heading there and invited me to join them.  I was in!

They’re located in The Fountains, a shopping center that has had some tough times lately, but luckily not as bad as the Fashion Mall.  Thanks Wilma! Despite demolishing half of the complex and creating some super-crazy construction mess over the past couple of years, The Fountains has newly emerged as an accessible and attractive venue, a big step up.

Ordering was at the counter, where you got your beverage (Corona Light!) immediately and then your food is delivered as it is prepared.  I have to give high marks for the salsa bar, which was stocked with a variety of fresh and interesting ingredients.  So far so good!

We sat outside in the ample sidewalk dining area that was surprisingly comfortable — not too noisy or cramped as can often be the case.   And in no time there was my 3 Taco order, complete with homemade chips that were very light and crunchy, the kind you can’t help but eat too much of.

Mahi Taco

Grilled Mahi Taco

First up was the grilled mahi taco on a soft corn tortilla that was nice and flavorful, with just the right balance of citrus, pico de gallo and lettuce.  There was also a “special sauce” but it didn’t remind me of a Big Mac, so I’m guessing it wasn’t mayo and thousand island dressing.  I’m  usually suspect of fish tacos as they can be too well, fishy, but this one hit the spot.

Beef Taco Chicken Taco

Crunchy Beef Taco and Soft Chicken Taco

Next was the grilled chicken on a soft corn tortilla that was also very light and flavorful with a good balance of meat to veggies ratio.  But the true test for me is the down and dirty basic taco — the ground beef in a crunchy corn shell.  And I’m happy to report they did not fail the soggy-shell test.  Always a taco killer.  Both were packed with goodness and I’d order them again.

Lime serves beer, wine, sangria and a lime margarita that really had a kick.  The staff was very friendly and they can also cater.

Also to note:

  • 8 other locations throughout South Florida

Lime Restaurant Review — 4/5 cilantro leaves

Mahi Soft Corn Tac0 — 4/5 cilantro leaves

Grilled Soft Corn Taco — 4/5 cilantro leaves

Ground Beef Crunchy Taco — 4/5 cilantro leaves





TOW — Montaco and Nacho Bizness

28 03 2011

It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  This time I caught up with the Food Trucks at Mother of Christ Catholic Church or TOW, Truckers Out West.  Must have been 30 trucks and 5,000 people.  No parking onsite though, so just grab any roadside space you see and join the throng of people heading in.

If you haven’t checked out the Food Truck phenomenon, there are a number of these popping up in Miami-Dade, not so much in Broward yet, but they are definitely worth going to.  My experience has shown that the food can be a little hit-or-miss, but overall its a great time with lots of interesting things to choose from.

Make sure to pack some picnic materials; blankets, chairs, tables, a cooler full of beer and stake out a location for your group to congregate.  That way you don’t end up standing around in lines waiting for each other all night.  And one further word of advice — don’t commit to any one vendor too quick — its best to try some small bites from a few different ones.  Its a real bummer when you’re full and you stumble across something that you want to try.  So pace yourself!

Note the location change for April 1 to 12405 SW 56th Street.


So my nephew insisted that I try the Shrimp Taco from Montaco first.  It was very fresh and light with a wonderful chipotle mayo that had just the right amount of zing.  And I appreciated the texture and size of the shrimp, especially as I had to eat it standing in the dark (see photo!), so I’m glad they weren’t rubbery or too small to manage!  The tortilla was also just the right consistency, and while I’m usually a big fan of the double tortilla, this one was just fine. They had other tacos on their menu that I also want to try so you’ll see them here again.

But hurry to see them soon, they are from Montauk, NY (clever right? Montaco?) and will be heading back north once season is over!

Shrimp Taco from Montaco

Next up was Nacho Bizness — another cleverly named truck that I was so happy to see actually home bases in Ft Lauderdale.  Because after I had the Rodeo Taco, I just might have to pop by every week for more.  Carne Asada that was a tender and flavorful as I’ve ever had, black bean and corn salsa, fresh cilantro and chipotle cream.  And guess what?  Double tortilla!  Me Gusto Mucho!

Rodeo Taco -- Carne Asada

TOW — Trucks Out West — 4 cilantro leaves

Montaco Shrimp Taco —  4 cilantro leaves

Nacho Bizness Rodeo Taco — 5 cilantro leaves





BTTR — Biscayne Triangle Truck RoundUp

15 03 2011

Hoping to officially launch this blog tonight with a visit to BTTR.  Got my eye on a couple of vendors!

127th and Biscayne from 5:30- 10 pm.








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