Archive for the ‘plantains’ Tag

Munch at Brunch   Leave a comment


Brunch is one of those meals I really enjoy but don’t often have. I like the possibilities it implies: sleeping in, a combination of breakfast and lunch foods, the likelihood of not eating much later in the day, and it’s usually shared with friends (or family, which recently was, in fact, one in the same)

The Pincho Factory is recognized in the South Florida area for its fresh all-beef burgers. I didn’t try one, but Pincho deserves accolades for its brunch offerings. These include inventive twists on traditional morning fare: Nutella Waffle, Banana Bread French Toast (above), Red Velvet Pancakes, Steak and Eggs, and a Bacon Wrapped Omelet. A handful of sandwiches are available, as was a special: Vaca Frita Toston, which was a spin on the Cuban Ropa Vieja.


Here’s the description on the chalkboard at the place-your-order counter. Cuddled  is not the word I would have used, but I was hooked at slow braised. The shredded beef, which practically melted in my mouth, was dressed with a subtle but tangy cranberry sauce and nestled between hamburger bun size fried plantains (below). It was an unusual but successful combination of flavor and texture.


The four-egg omelet boasted 12 slices of bacon sounds like an invitation to a cardiac arrest. A bacon basket effect was created by weaving the pieces together for the omelet, which was covered with lettuce and tomato. At least it looked somewhat healthy.


Ah, brunch!

Pincho Factory
Slightly More Than Four Plates
Four Plates
30 Giralda Ave.
Coral Gables, FL


No Worries   Leave a comment


Occasionally, when a business or restaurant has resided in one place for a very lengthy
time, it’s hard to exorcise memories (good or bad) to make room when new occupants
come along. That was my fear of going to Spice Island Grill. Gone was the long-established
and dependably good El Tesoro. In its place was not only a new owner, but an entirely dissimi-
lar cuisine: Jamaican. I needn’t have worried. Besides the address, the two vastly different
restaurants share an apparent commitment to well-prepared food and attentive service.

Vibrantly colored walls and knick knacks from Jamaica greet diners, but more importantly
are the friendly faces and acknowledgement from the staff. The menu offers a 15-minute
lunch. Although we didn’t time it, I suspect ours, and others’, took a little longer. But that’s
fine, because it’s a comfortable space.

The lunch menu features a variety of sandwich, entrée and salad offerings with the requisite
Jamaican jerk seasoning. I ordered the jerk chicken sandwich served on Jamaican Cocoa
bread, which is thick and bun-like. The jerk seasoning on the grilled chicken was tangy
and spicy without being overwhelming. My dining companion ordered chicken curry with
a side of plantain. The flavors were rich and full of depth. The thinly sliced fried plantain
tasted more like squash, as it should, than banana.

In addition to chicken and pork, there’s shrimp, goat, tilapia and even tofu imbued with jerk
seasoning. Perhaps Spice Island Grill will have a life at least as long as its predecessor –
18+ years.

Spice Island Grill
Four Plates
10 N. Sierra Madre
Colorado Springs, CO