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Mario's Latin Cafe

1090 North Homestead Boulevard, Homestead, FL - (305) 247-2470
Posted By Cliff Stehle on 4/23/2010 10:16:00 AM
My wife and I found Mario’s on Valentine’s Day (2010) as we drove through Homestead on our way back to Marco Island from the lower areas of the Florida Everglades; and were we ever so glad that we did! Cuban food has always been a treat for us when in Florida, and Mario’s epitomizes the genre. We have now been back to Mario’s two additional times (driving 50 miles out of our way to do it) and have found the food and service consistently excellent.

We have a weakness for Cuban steaks, so our menu choices on each visit have been somewhat limited (steak, steak, steak). But we have observed the food that the locals order (most people visiting Mario’s are Cuban, which says a lot about the food quality and authenticity). All dishes are beautifully prepared, servings are large, and the satisfied look on the patrons underscores the high quality.

We sampled ham and cheese empanadas, fluffy and filled with thinly sliced ham wrapped around mild cheese; terrific. The churrasco (Cuban charbroiled flank steak) is tender, done exactly as ordered (medium, in our case), juicy, flavorful, and simply delicious. It comes with crisp and sweet fried plantains, a generous portion of steamed white rice, and a large bowl of flavorful black beans. We took home food after every visit since the portions were large and more than we could possibly eat in one sitting.

The sangria that we ordered on each visit (ratcheting up from a half-carafe on our first visit to a full carafe on our last) was a wonderful accompaniment. The fruit in the wine provided the sweetness and the red wine base had just the correct flavor to meld well with the tangy tastes of the Cuban steak.

Overall, a wonderful dining experience at a reasonable price. We will be back.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Churrasco
Empanadas
Sangria (Full Pitcher)
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Like many Cuban restaurants, Mario's has wonderful beverages available. On the left is a mamey batido (milkshake), on the right, fresh watermelon juice.
"Like many Cuban restaurants, Mario's has wonderful beverages available. On the left is a mamey batido (milkshake), on the right, fresh watermelon juice."
Cliff Strutz





The hearty chicken soup is made even better with a spritz of the lime.
"The hearty chicken soup is made even better with a spritz of the lime."
Cliff Strutz


A close cousin of the Cuban sandwich, this medianoche has sliced pork, ham, pickle, and Swiss cheese on sweet buttered bread.
"A close cousin of the Cuban sandwich, this medianoche has sliced pork, ham, pickle, and Swiss cheese on sweet buttered bread."
Cliff Strutz


Charbroiled Cuban steak.
"Charbroiled Cuban steak."
Cliff Stehle


This roasted pork dish is juicy and garlicky.
"This roasted pork dish is juicy and garlicky."
Cliff Strutz


Sangria, the perfect drink to accompany Cuban food.
"Sangria, the perfect drink to accompany Cuban food."
Cliff Stehle


A bowl of black beans accompanies the churrasco.  The beans are great over the white rice.
"A bowl of black beans accompanies the churrasco. The beans are great over the white rice."
Cliff Stehle


Steamed white rice and fried sweet plantains come with the churrasco.
"Steamed white rice and fried sweet plantains come with the churrasco."
Cliff Stehle


Among the interesting sides featured is yuca and fried sweet plantains.
"Among the interesting sides featured is yuca and fried sweet plantains."
Cliff Strutz


Empanadas: flaky crust wrapped around thin, tender ham slices and melted cheese.  The perfect appetizer.
"Empanadas: flaky crust wrapped around thin, tender ham slices and melted cheese. The perfect appetizer."
Cliff Stehle


Cuban-style garlic bread (complimentary) arrives at your table immediately after your arrival.
"Cuban-style garlic bread (complimentary) arrives at your table immediately after your arrival."
Cliff Stehle


A representative page from Mario's menu.
"A representative page from Mario's menu."
Cliff Stehle


Spacious seating, at booths or tables, located in three rooms inside the restaurant.
"Spacious seating, at booths or tables, located in three rooms inside the restaurant."
Cliff Stehle


Outdoor dining at Mario's is always an option.
"Outdoor dining at Mario's is always an option."
Cliff Stehle


The welcome sign at Mario's says it all.
"The welcome sign at Mario's says it all."
Cliff Stehle


Mario's is located on a busy corner but retains tropical style, as evidenced by the entrance way.
"Mario's is located on a busy corner but retains tropical style, as evidenced by the entrance way."
Cliff Stehle



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