La Carreta

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Miami, Florida
La Carreta - Hanging plants
La Carreta - It spells Cuba!
La Carreta - Just a picture hanging over the booth
La Carreta - Chunks of grouper covered in creole sauce, and a plate of white rice with fried plantains
La Carreta - Tres Leches!
La Carreta - Some buttered toast for an appetizer
La Carreta - My first Cuban meal after being away from home for 2 years... bistec empanizado, moros and maduros

La Carreta Miami Reviews

Jamal1280 Jamal1280
38 reviews
Fantastic Cuban eatery Aug 16, 2011
I ate at La Carreta on Miami's famous Calle Ocho (8th Street) with a couple of friends after a riveting salsa class. I was famished and looking forward to the meal at this restaurant, which one of my friends recommended.

I was surprised by the boisterous atmosphere, particularly since we got there at 10:30 p.m. And oddly enough, there were plenty of little kids eating with their families there. Lots of late night eating going on. :)

The menu is extensive, so it took me a while to decide what to order. I ended up getting grouper chunks, covered in creole sauce with rice and friend plantains. The fish and rice were good, but I especially liked the plantains. Delicious!

And for dessert, which my friends passed up on (they claimed to be full), I had to have tres leches, one of my favorite Cuban desserts. Tres Leches means Three Milks in spanish. It's basically a cake with frosting soaked in three different types of milk. It was excellent :)

If you find yourself hanging out around Calle Ocho late at night (I believe it's open until 2 a.m.; we didn't leave until after midnight) and you've got a case of the munchies, Cuban style, I'd recommend La Carreta. Excellente!
It spells Cuba!
Just a picture hanging over the bo…
Hanging plants
Some buttered toast for an appetiz…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Jamal1280 says:
Yeah, I like it Betsy. I think this will be my regular spot each week when I go down to dance. :)
Posted on: Aug 18, 2011
junglechiq says:
Hi Jamal ... ive eaten at la carreta by my house. I love some churrasco with chimichurii .
Posted on: Aug 18, 2011
Jamal1280 says:
Thanks Christian :)
Posted on: Aug 17, 2011
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lulusartshack lulusart…
50 reviews
Country-style Cuban food Nov 10, 2008
If anyone asked me, anyone, Cuban, American, French, Etheopian; what my favorite Cuban restaurant was, I would without a doubt say La Carreta!

La Carreta is actually a small local chain, owned by the same family who owns Versailles. So, if La Carreta is owned by the same people, what's the difference???

First of all, the food! Versailles is more "Havana-style" cooking which is more similar to Spanish cuisine, while La Carreta is "criolla" or country-style. It's like the difference between Cajun and creole cooking. The food is hearty, simple, and super delicious!

Be sure to start your meal with some tasty fresh-made plantain chips with mojo, ham croquettes, corn tamale, or fresh avacado salad. For the more adventerous, try "fufu," mashed plantains with pork chunks.

They have a wide selection of pork, seafood, chicken and beef dishes; and they all come with sides of rice (white, yellow, or 'moro' with black beans), and a vegetable (yuca, sweet fried plantains, steamed vegetables, french fries...). While the menu suggests a side, you can always substitue another one, no problem. My favorites are the grilled mahi-mahi (cooked any way you like), the GIANT piece of fried kingfish, or the lamb-shanks stewed in tomatos and peas. If you're not sure what to try, or you want to try a little bit of everything (although with the portion size, it's not really a "little bit"), there are 2 sampler plates: "The Classic" and "The Criollo." Both have a little bit of all the classic good stuff.

If you're not feeling that hungry, or you just want a lighter meal, they also serve a wide variety of soups and sandwiches. "Caldo gallego" (white bean Spanish soup), plantain soup and Cuban-style chicken noodle soup are all very good, by themselves, as an appetizer or with a sandwich. They have of course the classic Cuban sandwich and Cuban Especials on fresh buttery bread, as well as excellent "medianoches" ("midnights," ham, pork, swiss cheese on a sweet roll), and Elena Ruths (turkey, cream cheese and strawberry jam on toast). And the best thing to go with a sandwich??? A papaya or mamey shake! (there's chocolate and strawberry too.)

And for desert... bring your sweet tooth! They have cheesecake for the un-initiated, and you can have it with guava or coconut. There's also delicious flans, cakes, bread pudding (Cuban of course), tres leches, and sweet gruava husks. Some of the restaurants have "braso gitano," but it's not the real thing, just a really sweet roll cake.

Don't forget to end your meal with a Cafe Cubano, or a Cortadito (expresso tempered with milk).

Be sure to check out the "daily" specials on the first page of the menu too. Each day they offer a special set of items of a reduced price (like plantain soup on mondays, cod on fridays, etc).

And the best thing about La Carreta, that puts it over the top above Versaille? The atmosphere! La Carreta is very family friendly, and no matter how many people you come in with (I think 10 has been the most for me), they always find a table for you pretty quickly, without giving you that you've-gotta-be-kiding-me look. The wait staff is friendly, kids are welcome (even my devil-child cousin), and they don't get pushy when you sit around for hours.

The best of the restaurants I think it the one on 88th Street, but they're all good, with the 8th Street one being open 24 hours.

So if you're in the Miami area, don't miss this place! They're sprinkled all over Miami (with a cafe in the airport I think), so there's no excuse not to check it out!
My first Cuban meal after being aw…
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chatarunga says:
I will make sure to check that out.
Posted on: Aug 17, 2011
sirenn9 sirenn9
43 reviews
Aug 07, 2007
This restaurant is actually located in the food court at the Miami Airport.I ate here before getting on the plane to head back to California, and it was definitely great being able to enjoy Cuban food one last time before leaving Miami- and what a great way to enjoy it too! This place is cafeteria style. In other words, you basically walk down this long row of every Cuban entree, appetizer and dessert you could ever imagine and pile it onto your tray and then pay when you are done. It seems a little pricey, but it really isn't considering the enormous variety of good quality food you get! My boyfriend and I shared a heaping plate of Cuban-style pot roast with potatoes, salad, torta tres leches and Cuban soda and it was $14.
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