Abuelita’s Kitchen is tucked away on Meridian Avenue, just around the corner from the hustle and bustle that marks the open air shopping and dining area of Lincoln Road Mall. While the dining area looks a little run of the mill with dimmed lights and a cut-and-paste arrangement of white table clothed tables typical of many nice restaurants, the beauty of Abuelita’s should not be judged on the décor but the food one is served. Primarily the restaurant serves Cuban dishes such as seafood stews, a variety of beef and chicken dishes along with more ethnic dishes like oxtail.

The servers were very friendly and were glad to help in any way possible when ordering of both the menu and from a rather large wine/beer list with a host of Cuban specialties. However, liquor prices are in line with other SOBE restaurants as the cheapest glass of wine is $10. However, if you are looking for good coffee in SOBE this is one of the best options out there. They make an excellent Cuban coffee; get the cafe con leche along with other more typical coffee types like mocha and cappuccino. All of these choices are under $7 but honestly make the customer feel like they are getting a bargain.

We dined on a slow weekday night so the main courses came out relatively quickly. However there was ample time to enjoy fresh baked break and fresh salads. All the dishes were generously portioned and came with a nice helping of plantains and white rice. Everything was well seasoned and cooked especially the bistec de pollo a La Milanesa (a highly recommended dish composing of a chicken breast with ham with melted cheese). Another diner tried one of the recommended Cuban seasoned pork chop dishes and was quite satisfied with the results.

If one is in the mood for dessert there is a large sampling of Cuban/Hispanic dishes such as rice pudding, egg custard and Dulce de leche. The overall price makes it a low cost dinner option when compared to the other nearby Lincoln Road restaurants. The main kitchen operates from 7 am to 11pm so it is not just opened for dinner however the writer did not try the breakfast options. In addition, a 24 hour “cafeteria” window is open with a much smaller menu.

· Location: 1654 Meridian Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
· Phone: (305) 763-8095
· Hours: Open 24/7(main kitchen 7-am-11Pm)

Website: http://www.abuelaskitchen.com/