Name: Roxana Cocina
Occupation: Art Teacher
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Madroño Restaurant
Restaurant Reviewed: Madroño Restaurant on 1/29/12 at 2:30 pm
On Sunday, Jan 29, I decided to invite my family to the best Nicaraguan restaurant in Miami! When we arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon the restaurant was very busy, every table was called for except one at the front where my family and I sat. We were greeted with a smile and oversized clean white menus. Immediately, a young man brought us a bread basket, glasses of water and traditional Nicaraguan garnishes in small glass squared cups. Although, our waiter took some time to take our order he was kind, thoughtful, and patient through out the whole meal. He also educated me on some new Nicaraguan dishes. The lunch was great!
For appetizers we had Queso Frito with Fried Plantain Chips and Cabbage Slaw – always delicious, a large slice of fresh Nicaraguan white cheese with a side of Nicaraguan cabbage slaw, and Leche Agria con tortillas- Nicaraguan homemade yogurt served in a large soup bowl served with warm tortillas. I had Indio Viejo- Corn meal mixed with shredded beef and spices/splash of orange juice served with white rice. This was the first time that I had ordered this item off the menu. It was a very different and unique dish…you could call it Nicaraguan comfort food! And for desert the Pio V, named after the Pope that had visited Nicaragua, which is in this case a soaked sponge cake, garnished with a prune, served in a martini glass. I’ve always been a big fan of the tres leches, but this dessert is delicious!
Name: Karen Friedman
Occupation: Urban Planner
Lives in: Pompano Beach
Restaurant Pick: Sunrise Pita & Grill
Restaurant Reviewed: Madroño Restaurant on 1/27/12 at 5:30 pm
We entered the parking lot after a stressful drive from Pompano Beach. Needless to say we were very excited to finally reach our destination. The restaurant was easy to find, as there was good signage. The shopping center was appealing and parking was easy to find. Mardono’s walls are all windows so we could see that it was a nice ambience and that there was plenty of available seating. Once we were seated at a table the server greeted us. He did greet us in Spanish and we politely told him we speak English, so he switched to English.
Bread and sauces were quickly brought to our table and they were delicious. We ordered the Nicaraguan beer, and it was very refreshing and light. I ordered the fish ceviche and my partner ordered the shrimp cocktail. The server brought us an avocado salad that was fresh and light. The ceviche was good; not the best I have ever had. But it was fresh, and a great price! My partner’s shrimp cocktail was very good. The shrimp were sitting in a sauce which we guessed was a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise. It was surprisingly delicious. I ordered the Nicaraguan combination and my partner ordered the Carne Asada. My entrée was definitely big enough for two people!! For $14.95 I got carne asada, pork, homemade fried pork rinds, miniature tacos, sweet plantains, yucca, beans with sour cream, beans and rice, savory plantains, and fried cheese sticks! My partner’s carne asada was very tasty and also came with French fries. We were stuffed! Had we not gone there for Check Please, we would have not ordered desert as we were very full. But we ordered the Buneulos. They were described as fried doughnuts made with yucca and cheese, and served with cinnamon syrup. To be honest, I did not enjoy them. I did like the cinnamon syrup, but the cheese taste did not please my palate. I am sure other people would like them. They were certainly hot and fresh. Our bill was $80 including tax and tip. But that included three beers. While I enjoyed the food and thought the ambience was top notch, the location and drive would preclude me from ever returning.
Name: Stephen Scott
Occupation: Building Director
Lives in: Fort Lauderdale
Restaurant Pick: Valentino’s
Restaurant Reviewed: Madroño Restaurant on 1/27/12 at 7:30 pm
For a relatively crowded restaurant, the noise level never exceeded moderate. The tables are well spaced, and the setting was very comfortable. The service was very good; they were very much “in tune” with each other. While one server was picking up plates, another would come to assist. They replaced silverware between courses (wrapped in paper napkins) which was a pretty nice touch for such an inexpensive restaurant. Our server was knowledgeable and helpful.
The food we had was hit and miss, but the portions are HUGE! You will not leave hungry.
However In our attempt to try some more authentic dishes, we may have done a disservice. Now that I have tried a broad cross-section of the menu, I would go back and order their specialty churrasco. I would use as sauce the chimichurri, onion and pepper sauce, and red pepper sauce that are prepared fresh and placed on your table when you sit down. All three constitute perfect condiments. I’m actually looking forward to going back for the steak because they really know how to prepare them. And with wine and beer for three people, appetizers and entrees, dinner came to less than $25 per person….Simply a phenomenal value.
This is a great local’s spot that is actually worth the drive for non-locals. Keep your orders simple and enjoy their skills with simple preparations of meat. Enjoy the spicy food and the extremely reasonable prices.
Location: 10780 W. Flagler Street, Miami, FL
Type of Cuisine: Nicaraguan cuisine
Meals Served: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodations for Children: yes