A May 2005 trip
to Miami by su-lin
Quote: I went to South Beach for 1 week in May for a conference. Although most of my time was taken up by work, there was plenty of time to see all of South Beach.
In total, I made three stops to David's Cafe II, twice for sit-down lunches and once for takeaway coffee. On my first visit, I decided to try a Cuban sandwich. Paired with a fresh sugarcane juice, I thought this would be just the right amount of food for lunch. Hmmm, I seem to have forgotten that American portions are massive. A huge mug of sugarcane juice made its way to my table. It tasted fine, but it could have been strained of all the little bits from the cane. The sandwich came much later, after a basketful of toasted and well-buttered Cuban bread was laid at my table and I had caused a significant reduction to this pile. There were layers of cheese, ham, roast pork, mustard, and pickles in the sandwich, which was covered in shoestring potatoes. The sandwich was okay - I would have preferred less cheese and more pork, but perhaps that's just me.
For my second visit, I decided to have their lunch buffet (somewhere in the region of $10). This is mainly due to watching a pair of old Cuban men happily feast on the buffet on my previous visit! The food was quite good for a buffet and allowed me to try a large number of Cuban foods: fish dishes, pork stews, fried plantains, arroz Imperial, salads, and desserts. I highly recommend this, and it's available between 11am and 3pm Monday through Friday. During both these lunchtime visits, the service was very good and very friendly, and they're willing to explain what's in the menu or the buffet.
On my penultimate day in Miami, I decided that I couldn't leave without trying Cuban coffee. As I was shopping along Lincoln Road, I decided to visit the takeout window of David's Cafe II. There was no menu that I could see, with the exception of a single sheet of paper advertising their Cuban hamburger. Service was a bit iffy at the counter, but I managed to ask what the difference was between a cortadito and a cafe con leche. The cortadito has less milk. That was for me. When the little paper cup was handed to me, I looked in vain for sugar on the counter. Oh well, I took a sip of the coffee, which was sweeter than I would have wanted it. I like my coffee strong, but this was sweet and strong, as I later found out that many teaspoons of sugar are usually placed into the cup before the coffee! Definitely an acquired taste!
Overall, I would recommend this cafe for a sit-down meal rather than takeaway, unless you speak some Spanish!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 7, 2005
David's Cafe II
1654 Meridian Ave
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
+1 305 672 8707
Restaurant | "Joe's Stone Crab"
Upon entering, there is Joe's merchandise lining the right hand side, deli displays, and crab cracking on the left and the order station directly in front. After perusing all that was available, I ordered a crab cake sandwich, a small order of garlic creamed spinach (hey, I was eating alone!), and a slice of key lime pie.
While waiting for my order - and it's a long wait - I decide to study each and every one of the seafood salads on offer in the refrigerated case. The man behind the counter and I start chatting about the salads when I mention that I've never had conch before. He then proceeds to give me a large sample of the conch salad! Conch is quite a tough meat. He tells me that I ought to try conch fritters and that they're the best at Joe's. Well, the service is great at Joe's takeaway!
The food was terrific. The crab cake sits on a brioche like bun with lettuce and tomato, and there is a terrific salsa on the side. They accidentally gave me regular creamed spinach instead of garlic. It was nice, but garlic would have made it nicer! This will teach me a lesson to check my order before leaving. The key lime pie was also very good, but I could not finish it after the sandwich and all the cream in the spinach.
It is definitely recommended! Joe's is in the very south part of South Beach, and just asking will probably result in pointed fingers to its general location!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 8, 2005
Joe's Take Away
11 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
+1 305 673 4611
London, United Kingdom