GOOD EATS: Rinconcito Superlatino
It was after a four-hour drive from Orlando and a particularly strenuous move-in that I stumbled upon the little Cuban place known as Rinconcito Superlatino 4, stomach gnawing with hunger and eyes weary from driving. I had passed it on my way to my new house, attempting to feel out where I was, what I should explore, and where I could eat in my new stomping grounds, wholeheartedly unaware of the blissful urban-to-suburban balance I would now reside in.
My aunt was overjoyed to be there. She could sense that we’d found a great little place, despite its unassuming appearance from the outside, and its humble décor on the inside. We were seated by a window with a view down Bird Road. Looking around, I glanced at the bar, where a server was effortlessly stirring a syrupy colada; I saw the entrance to the kitchen, where the cook was passing a few lunch specials to a waiter and conversing in Spanish hurriedly; and I saw the Cuban patrons, sipping their Cuban coffees, and they saw us, sticking out like sore thumbs.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten at Rinconcito, but I can safely say that it’s a hit. Any time someone comes to visit me, or I don’t know where to eat, I head to Rinconcito for a meal that tastes wholesomely homemade. Their menu is straightforward, but there’s an option for every appetite, every hankering, and every dietary need as well. Think classic Cuban dishes and flavors: shredded chicken, yellow rice, ropa vieja, fried plantains, garlicky black beans, and classic medianoche sandwiches. And don’t forget the complimentary basket of toasted white bread slathered in butter that’s set on your table as soon as you sit down. I always order white rice, a massive side of black beans (leftovers, hello!), fried plantains or steamed yucca, and of course, a sickly sweet cafecito to boot. Rinconcito’s menu is extensive, with a wonderful set of daily specials ranging from stews to grilled meats to soups, and they even serve breakfast in the morning. But, if you’re just in the mood for an energy boost, their coffee window is open all day, where a single serving is invigorating and cheap – the perfect kickstart to any Miami adventure, or an ideal jolt of energy if you’re headed to class and hopelessly addicted to that blissful mix of caffeine and white sugar.
It’s so important to explore the local palate, especially when we live in such a culturally rich and dynamic city. Rinconcito is my staple hole-in-the-wall Cuban place that is deliciously underrated and gloriously undiscovered... for now. If you’re looking for a quick and filling meal at a spot brimming with culture and buzzing with energy, Rinconcito Superlatino (and their four Miami locations) is the place to be.