Since hubby and i planned to make a trip to Downtown Miami, after some research, we planned to visit the famous Cuban cultural street at Little Havana. I am always looking forward to visit some cultural streets and places, trying their local food, desserts would be the main task for our trip lol!
At first, we planned to take the Orange Line Monorail but we decided to drive there as we could not be able to find a good parking spot at those rail stations, it is not convenient and the parking is not free, so since we have to pay either way, we would prefer to drive direct to downtown for a better parking place. We parked our car right next to the Brickell Station, which is in the center of downtown Miami. However, we have to walk at least 30 minutes to head to the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame. Not near huh? But we enjoyed the along the street view. So it is OKAY with us!
From the beginning of the street, we started to see some cultural arts drawing along the road, even they have similar cultural event like what Chinese do, the dragon boat carnival. (well i guessed it from the wall drawing). It was a hot sunny day but with little showering while we walked towards the destination. (In fact, there are free trolley service, move along the Little Havana & Brickell Station, i found out this after we finished exploring, hmm never mind, we still get to see some views by walking, you might be missed out this places if you are taking those trolley shutter)
Time was fast, and finally we were in the center of Calle Ocho Walk of Fame, and it is time for LUNCH! According to Yelp recommendation, we decided to have our lunch at this restaurant – El Exquisito Restaurant, gave us big disappointment with over priced charges and bad service.
We were always believe the good reviews from Yelp, but now we have to think twice! When we walked into the restaurant, it was full at the dining area, and we were assigned to sit at the live band session with super loud and dark table. It was ok as we are not sitting there for long hour we just want to have our lunch and continued with our visit. We were expecting the waitress will bring us the menu, however, they never, the waitress recommended us with their buffet and special set which is ready to serve, and we have double checked with her if the special set lunch was enough for two of us, she said the portion was big and more than enough. So we ordered one set lunch, and there are supposed to be 3 side dishes along with the rice. The waitress pass us to a waiter which was ready to prepare our meal at the buffet kiosk. We were served with only 2 side dishes and the portion was small. Then hubby asked the first waitress again said would this be the set lunch that we just ordered? You know what, the lady brought us to the buffet kiosk again to select our 3rd side dish! So what if we did not check again, we were cheated by them.
Then, they do not serve us the utensil at our table, so i went to request from the waiter again, he showed me those utensil on the table he just cleaning up from the previous customer and ask me to take from the table. I know the set was not used by the previous customers, but it was in the dirty table and the serviette was with little stain, I felt seriously bad. (I left my comments on Yelp, but they removed it, which makes me felt even worse meaning that Yelp is covered up those honest and bad reviews). The food was normal, and we decided to ask for bill. Again mistakes done by them by billing us ordering TWO sets of set lunch. Hubby has to explain to them that we were sharing the food, and they went back to amend the bill again. Seriously, with these services, we will not come back again. This was the worst experience we ever had, and No more next time.
We continued on our neighborhood exploration, surprised found, coincidentally we saw sexy model was doing photo shooting with nice bikini along the street, we took some photos of her, and the bikini was great too.
This is a street of cultural art, we can easily see the arts along the street and even every corner of their building, never forget to take some photos with their signature roaster statue on street too!
Also, there are many engraved celebrities name along the walking path, i didnt take all of them, but some, just for fun, as i do not know any of them though. There is a park that you should never missed, with the statue, and the historical background about Cuban culture.
Next we went to the famous Cuban dessert which is highly promoted, Acuzar Ice Cream shop, which is claimed that all of their ice cream are homemade recipe and there are some special taste where you cannot find at other ice cream shop. Before ordered, we tried on some very unique taste such as spicy ice cream, it is savory but not our preference. So we ended up with Vanilla, Cinnamon and nutmeg (Mantecado) and berries ice cream. Big scoops with the waffle cone were YUM and we rest a little while before heading back to the station as we were in tight time schedule for the game at Marlins Park that night.
Finally we used our little time left to take a ride of the Brickell Trolley to tour for a round, it took about 45 minutes to tour the surrounding of downtown Miami. The trolley was free however the seats are horrible, it was too hard to sit on lol!