My recent trip to Miami was filled with all sorts of good food – from two kinds of delicious crab at Joe’s Stone Crab to a fantastic, fancy feast at Nobu Miami. But the trip wasn’t complete until we got to try some Cuban food. After doing some poking around online, we were torn between Puerto Sagua and Las Olas Cafe: Both were close to the Hilton Bentley where we were staying, and both had rave reviews. Forced to decide, we ended up going with Puerto Sagua.
This place is all about the food, and that’s exactly what I was in the mood for. I didn’t want any high-brow, Cuban-fusion, fancypants food. I wanted some simple, honest, classic Cuban dishes – and that’s exactly what Puerto Sagua is known for.
We started with an order of the Fried Pork Chunks. I had high expectations, given that two of the three words in the dish were “fried” and “pork”.
Unfortunately, I came away a little disappointed. Yes, this was fried pork – but I found the dish to be a little on the bland side, if you can believe that. Not bad per se, just not great.
Fortunately, we had ordered another appetizer so that we could try more dishes. The initial thought behind ordering croquettes was to have something in the meal that wasn’t meat-centric. Oops.
So those aren’t potato croquettes – they had all sorts of porky goodness in them
Between the two appetizers, the croquettes were my clear favorite.
For our main courses, we ordered the Oxtail Stew, and the Roasted Chicken. The chicken was pretty good, but the plantains served on the side were awesome!
These were some of the best plantains I’ve ever had, and they made me realize how crappy all those other plantains I’d had before really were!
Part of the reason the chicken didn’t impress quite as much is that my Mrs. prefers white meat, while I’m a dark meat kind of guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if their dark meat roasted chicken is a lot more to my liking.
The Oxtail Stew was my favorite part of the meal, and it should be pretty obvious why:
The meat was very flavorful, and it just fell right off the bones. Exactly the stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish I was looking for, and highly-recommended!
By the time we got around to dessert, we decided the prudent thing to do would be to split something. We ordered the Coconut Caramel Custard.
I really enjoyed it, and it was the perfect sweet cap to what had been a very savory, very meat-focused meal up until that point. I’m a sucker for caramel, and I thought the combination of caramel and coconut was quite nice.
Overall, I really enjoyed my meal at Puerto Sagua and will be sure to visit again if I’m ever in Miami Beach. While some of the dishes were a bit of a disappointment, the ones I did like more than made up for it. I’d also really like to try one of their Cubano sandwiches, which unfortunately I just didn’t have room for on this visit!
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