I celebrated my BIG Dirty 30 this year…August 16th to be exact and I knew exactly where I wanted to celebrate with eight of my closest girlfriends: M-I-A-M-I!  It was amazing, not one boring moment, fun all day and all night, treated like the Queens that we are and by no surprise, we ate GOOD!

Let me start by saying, I’m in LOVE with Cuban food.  No REALLY!  Just thinking about it while writing this blog, my mouth is watering and I’m thinking to myself, “Where is a good Cuban restaurant in the DFW area?!”  So I’m sure you’re wondering, what magical place had put me under this Cuban culinary spell…I blame it on Havana 1957 Cuban Cuisine AND the smartest cab driver ever who recommended it to us.  It was fate that we happened upon the location at Lincoln Rd. because we sat at another restaurant first, the menu wasn’t exactly what we wanted.  Havana 1957 had outside seating, the sun was beaming down on us, it was so hot, OMG!  Huge umbrellas for a bit of shade, the waitresses were dressed in all white traditional Cuban attire, they were very pretty I might add.  As far as their attitudes and their personalities, they weren’t the best, not much conversation, but we didn’t let them ruin our good time.  

First order of business: a MOJITO!  I mean we’re in Miami, it was only right.  I’m not a huge fan of the drink, BUT it’s pretty much the specialty drink at ALL restaurants in Miami, so it was a must to try one.  BOY am I happy I did!  This was probably the best mojito, mango mojito, I had ever had.  So refreshing, not an overwhelming minty taste,  the fresh sugar cane was awesome, loved that!  I had never had that before, so it was pretty cool to me.  

Now to the best part, the FOOD!  The menu was a little overwhelming, a lot of options, so I had to narrow my options down somehow.  Where did I go? YELP!  Always my go to and a Side Note: Pretty much all of my decisions that I made for my birthday trip in Miami, Yelp! was my tour guide.  I decided to go with the Churrasco a la Cubana, which was tender charbroiled flank steak topped with grilled onions and served with *drumroll* white rice and black beans.  Let’s pause and talk about the black beans and rice.  If I could eat them EVERYDAY…I would.  Seasoned perfectly, the rice cooked perfectly, I mean I don’t think I took one breath while eating them, well INHALING them lol…one of the best dishes I’ve EVER had, hands down.

I was so happy after that, “Welcome to Miami” lunch…I couldn’t stop talking about it pretty much the whole trip.  So, we fast-forward to my birthday dinner, that night, it was so special, I wanted everything to be perfect.  I chose this restaurant on Ocean Dr. called A Fish Called Avalon.  What stuck out to me was the romantic seating outside, the ambience was so “Miami night life”, it was all that I was looking for, PLUS I saw a picture of their Orzo Paella on Yelp, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try paella, and it looked REALLY good! Upon getting seated, right at the corner of Ocean Dr. which I loved, we got our drinks and my girl Ashley & I decided before hand that we would split the paella, because it was A LOT of food and that’s an understatement.  When the dish got to our table, I was in complete shock, in the best way EVER.  It was a foodie’s dream how much seafood was on our plate.  So much goodness!  The orzo wasn’t overcook, the shrimp was huge, the lobster tail on top was sweet and fresh, the saffron-roasted tomato broth I LOVED with the sautéed spinach, I’m telling you there was not ONE THING wrong with this dinner.

Last but certainly not least, our last night in Miami *sad face* and this was going to be just as special as the first night, I made sure.  My girls actually made the reservations and put everything together for me, which I love them so much for.  Our selection for the night was Larios on the Beach, it’s actually Gloria Estefan’s restaurant, so that alone is a pretty big deal.  I really loved it visually, the white everywhere and the accents of deep sea blue, it was a very intimate setting.  So, the restaurant featured a 3-course meal for a set price, which a lot of my girls got, including myself.  It was the best way to go.  I MUST speak on my appetizer, which made the best impression on me.  The Stuffed Green Plantain Cups…stuffed with Shrimp Criollo (shrimp Creole), Ropa Vieja (shredded beef) and Cubana Criollo Minced Beef (seasoned, minced beef w/ green olives).  The plantains, I loved the texture, a savory baked banana.  My FAVORITE combination was the Cubana Criollo because I LOVED the flavor that the olives gave the beef.  I hated to finish it, but I LOVED to clean my plate.

Overall, my time in Miami was AMAZING, my tummy was very happy and the combination of eclectic flavors, I’ve never had such amazing tastes.  Thank you Miami!