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Casa Vieja is a spacious community gathering spot for Kendall's sizeable Colombian population -- politicians have campaigned there, many a large family birthday party has been celebrated in the space, and local cumbia acts have partied the night away on the large stage. The interior is designed to look like, well, a casa vieja. The outside serves as the portal (Spanish-style porch), with shaded tables enclosed, and the interior features large faux colonial balconies lining the upper part of the walls. Nondescript booths and tables are scattered throughout, with a large circular bar anchoring the front of the house. Strangely enough, booths in the back part of the restaurant sit against a glass wall that overlooks an ice arena next door. Watching kiddie hockey players while eating an asado campesino (churrasco steak, $10.99) and listening to vallenatos crooned by karaoke participants? Sure, why not? As for the food, it is massive, greasy-plate, mediocre renditions of traditional dishes with some universal pedestrian favorites thrown in (fettuccine Alfredo, fajitas, buffalo wings). A huge $5.99 lunch special served Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. includes a special of the day served with several sides. Dinner options include pollo a la criolla ($9.99), chicken breast served in a lightly spicy creole sauce, and pargo al ajillo ($16.99), red snapper sautéed in a garlic sauce. Most dishes are accompanied by an iceberg lettuce and tomato salad, tostones, and rice. The place is open late, with live music and karaoke on weekends, and a daily happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m.
It can be difficult deciding what to do if you find yourself on Hammocks Boulevard in West Kendall. What, you didn't know there was anything to do out there? It's home to Kendall Ice Arena, the funniest place to watch people bust their asses while wearing down-feather parkas in the middle of July. It's also home to a giant restaurant designed to look like an old house, where patrons perform vallenatos at weekly karaoke, and politicians such as Joe Garcia attempt to woo West Dade's Colombian... More »
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