Versailles Cuban Cuisine
I read alot about Versailles (3555 S W Eighth Street, Miami, FL 33135 Tel: 305-444-0240) when researching must-eat Cuban food in Miami. This was on everyone's list, so naturally, it was at the top of mine although my mom had her reservations (She didn't like how the food looked in photos on flickr). I persuaded her with "but Cuban Americans eat here and it's on Calle Ocho so it must be good!"
Well...either my expectations were too high, or having eaten at El Siboney first spoiled it for me. Let's start with the buttered toasts. The basket came dripping with butter. It seeped through the paper lining the basket and made the table slick and oily. Hmmm...Did I dare take a bite? I dared, and it was ehh. It tasted more like a gigantic crouton than toast. El Siboney's buttered Cuban bread maintained a soft inside and is toasted like a Cuban sandwich. This was toasted like your normal breakfast toast.
I insisted on ordering the Vaca Frita because someone had recommended it. I found it chewy, as expected when beef is cooked, shredded, then fried. The beef and onions dripped with oil. I struggled through eating half of it. The plantains were better than the burnt ones at El Siboney and the rice and beans was excellent.
Mom ordered the today's special-ham shank "Lacon" with sausage because of our fondness for Schweinehaxe. The shank was moist, and the crisp pickled onions goes well with the melt-in-your-mouth meat. I detested the sausage. The overly soft texture weirded me out.
Vaca Frita and Ham Shank "Lacon"
Although everyone around us ordered desserts, I felt too full to consume much of anything else. So I ended the meal with a cortadito. Delicioso!