Versailles is ground zero for Cuban cuisine in the United States. A few years ago, Nancy and I spent a few days in western Miami, near Doral, with our friends, Joyce DeRoy and Willie King. We relaxed in the sun, went on an Everglades tour, watch alligator wrestling at a Miccosukee village, and ate a whole lot of lechon asado, Cuban-style pork. We ate so much that everyone else eventually rebelled at my suggestion of yet another Cuban restaurant.
The high point of the trip was dinner at Versailles. You may have seen Versailles among the places featured in the film, Chef, along with Franklin Barbecue, and I forget where in New Orleans. That’s the movie where a world class chef with a personality that really needed a proctologist’s help. The chef gets fired, throws a twitter tantrum, gets a food truck, and goes on a Driveabout. In the process, he finds his true muse, reconciles with this son, and winds up with Sofia Vergara and a lot of money. It happens all the time.
But to paraphrase Maitre Pathelin, revenons a nos cochons. Versailles is a huge restaurant in the heart of Little Havana with a wonderful atmosphere. Night and day, Cubans virtually fill the place, but courteously leave room for other hungry people. A trip to Miami without a trip to Versailles is a lost opportunity. I started with some sensational Galician soup, and had, of course, the lechon asado as my entree, and it was absolutely delicious — the best ever. (Actually, I think I only ate lechon asado while in Miami as a main course.) Nancy had a great black bean soup and the fish with shrimp and Creole sauce. She loved it — as I loved the bites she was, however reluctantly, willing to share
It’s February. Go to Miami. It’s much warmer there, and the food at Versailles — the definitive Cuban food — is just waiting to be eaten.
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