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The atmosphere at this Latin American seafood restaurant is pretty dull. Servers seem listless, and there isn't much effort on their part to establish a rapport with customers. But the dining area is ample and can easily accommodate large parties. And the prices are friendlier than the servers: There are 12 seafood entrées that cost less than $10. The rest of the menu is a bit overpriced for the quality of the restaurant. In particular, "chef's recommendations" such as dolphin filet with shrimp in garlic sauce ($17) and churrasco steak and lobster ($40) are too expensive for what you get. Commonly ordered dishes include Floridita-style paella ($18.95), a combination of ham, seafood, and chicken cooked in a Latin-style yellow rice stew, and shrimp ceviche ($8.95), which contains a very small amount of lime-marinated seafood. Considering Miami's proximity to the ocean, a lack of fresh, delicious fish is disheartening. Other port cities like San Francisco don't seem to have that problem. To find really good seafood in Miami, you have to go to a high-end place, and El Floridita doesn't fall into that category.
El Floridita takes you back to a time when life was simple: Men were men, women were women, fish were fish, and fish houses were made of wood and featured fish tanks, raw bars, saloon-style alcohol, and trophy fish on the wall. El Floridita makes fish sandwiches the old-fashion way too -- as in tasty, not fancy. First the folks in the kitchen take fresh menudo, which is not the Mexican soup but the Filipino name for the labahita fish. The mild, white-fleshed saltwater species is plunked... More »
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