This past Sunday, I ventured out of the house earlier than my 17 month old son usually allows. I headed down to Miami’s South Beach to meet the guys from Sellsius Real Estate that were in town on their Blog Bus Tour. Being that living and working in Palm Beach County, Florida keeps me about 50-60 miles North of South Beach, I figured I would make a stop in “my” cuban cafe just off South Beach Florida’s famous Lincoln Road Pedestrian Mall.
I walked from Alton Road down Lincoln Rd and hung a left on Meridian. Half a block down is where you will find David’s Cafe II. For those who have never experienced a real Cuban Cafe before, this is definitely something you should not miss when you’re visiting South Florida. David’s Cafe has been in existence since 1977 so it has stood the test of time with the Cuban and American populations in South Beach Miami….and for good reason!
Right on the street is an open window where they serve Cafe Cubano 24/7 along with other menu items like the Media Noche sandwich, the traditional Sandwich Cubano and Plantains – either the starchy, double fried Tostones or the sweet uber-caramelized Maduros (my fav). You can also pick from an assortment of fresh baked Cuban Pastries.
These fine menu items MUST be paired with one of the traditional Cafes Cubanos … Cuban Coffees. There are four traditional forms of this wonderful elixir.
- Cafecito… of Cafe Cubano. In Italy, they claim this is simply an espresso… but where espresso is dark and bold, cafecito is sweet and sublime. This is typically brewed right into a cup with cane sugar or cane syrup. Delicious! A real Cafe Cubano will have a beautiful espumita. This is a sweet foam that derives from the mixing of the first drops of the coffee with the sugar.
- Colada – colada is a BIG Cafe Cubano. This is a social drink. You’ll see one person order a Colada and come out with a paper cup full of cafecito. They will also have what looks like a stack of shot glasses. The Colada is poured to everyone in the party to share. Quite communal and wonderful… Sante!
- Cortadito – This is a Cafecito with milk… like a cappucino. Sweet and creamy.
- Cafe con Leche – this is more of a morning drink. This is similar to a Cafe au Lait, although some say it is like a Latte. The Cafe au Lait model is closer because the milk is not typically foamed. It is half and half hot milk to coffee. Sometimes they are served separately for you to pour the coffee in yourself.
Anyway you like it, Cafe Cubano is a sublime and wonderful way to celebrate Cuban-American culture when you make a visit to South Beach Miami. The Starbucks across the street doesn’t even put a dent in their business – especially late into the South Beach nights.