In the age of “everyone get’s a trophy,” it should come as no surprise that Vladimir Putin has been nominated to receive the first ever Hugo Chavez peace prize. Though Venezuela is currently in the middle of financial and social disintegration, President Nicolas Maduro was able to squeeze out enough sponduli to create the honor, which is awarded to those who have “who have excelled in the struggle for peace.” What is it about Venezuela and handing out awards? The prize for winning the peace prize is a small trophy based on Sergey Kazantzev’s statue of Chavez, which was actually a gift from Putin back in 2013. Casual re-gifting is totally OK when the children of your country “are fainting in their classrooms due to hunger.”
Now that Putin has formally been recognized for his peace loving politics, maybe he’ll finally get a VMA for that time he sang, “Blueberry Hill.”
Nicaraguenses are one of the larger Latinx populations in Miami outside of Cubans, and have mostly settled in Sweetwater, known as Little Managua or Little Nicaragua, so you know their food spots are LEGIT. Pinolandia in Little Havana has been voted as one of the best fritangas in Miami, where you can nosh on queso frito, gallo pinto and carne asada.
Over the past few years, the Dominican community in Miami has grown enough to have their own aptly named neighborhood, Little Santo Domingo, in Allapattah. Sitting right outside of trendy Wynwood, Milly’s Restaurant is one of the neighborhood staples to get authentic mangu, mofongo, fried cheese and all things plantain because it wouldn’t be DR food without it. <3
While many Puerto Ricans have skipped Miami and grown a big community in Orlando, Florida, the influence of the island is still strong. Isla Del Encanto serves up amazing alcapurrias, churrasco and arroz con guandules. If you want to hit up a spot that specializes in authentic mofongo, visit Jimmy’z Kitchen Wynwood.
While I would say my mamitas house is where to find the most authentic Colombian food, a restaurant in a Miami strip mall might be the next best alternative because of the heavy Colombian population. Arrieros is often brought up as a favorite, where you can revel in perfectly made bandeja paisa, empanadas and sancochos.
Miami loves to make things super fancy, and there’s been a boom of Peruvian concept and fusion restaurants, making it the trendy new kid on the block. When you’re craving some truly authentic Peruvian food, check out Sabor A Perú. This restaurant is a local favorite and specializes in pollo saltado, choclo con queso, chaufa, and of course, a plethora of ceviches.
I admit, Miami has a problem of pervasive Tex-Mex chain restaurants with bottled mix margaritas that stray far from authentic, but Mi Rinconcito Mexicano is a beacon of hope. Voted by Miami New Times as Best Mexican food in Miami, Yelpers almost unanimously name their queso fundido con chorizo as the must-try dish. An honorable mention goes to Taqueria Viva México, where Andres Tovar serves the most authentic carnitas in Miami, Michoacán-style.
While Salvadorian food in Miami is no easy task, El Atlakat is around for all your pupusa-loving needs. Opened in 1987, El Atlakat was a response to the demand for Central American food in South Florida, and this spot is still thriving. Their menu goes hard with the pupusas, parilladas and all-beautiful antojitos.
Doggi’s Arepa Bar used to be a hot dog cart called Doggi’s & More, but the overwhelming demand for more of their authentic Venezuelan treats lead them to open up two storefronts in Miami. The restaurant is a family affair, owned by Carlos Estevez, brother Giovani Esteves, and his mother Yoleida Galiano, who initially made all the cart food. Their menu has an impressive list of arepas, pepitos and jugos naturales. I WANT!