The first thing that you will notice as you walk towards the Sergio’s on Coral Way and 32nd Ave, is that the outside dining area is as big, if not bigger, than the inside of the restaurant. There are tables under umbrellas along with a few tables under a large roofed area.
There is a coffee window on the side that’s kind of hidden and accommodates only a handful of people. As soon as you walk in you notice the desserts on display behind the cafeteria counter and the usual cafeteria fare. The locale is rather small, but it is constantly packed. The kitchen is visible from dining area which always adds a little something extra to the experience.
While at Sergio’s I was able to try 6 of their most popular items. The meal began with their “pan con bistec,” or steak sandwich.
The steak is lightly and simply seasoned, completely void of the typical in-your-face acidity that’s become expected of Cuban-style steak. It’s also sliced thinly which makes for easy chewing. The onions are cooked enough to eliminate any harshness but don’t really impart any richness from heavy caramelization and the thick slices of tomato lend a nice freshness to it all. A solid sandwich, but not the best I’ve had.
Next I tried their Croqueta Preparada. Now this is a sandwich to tell your friends about! It’s Cuban bread layered with ham croquetas, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. I’ve had plenty a version of this sandwich and honestly, this is the best I’ve had.
Every ingredient sings and shines individually as well as compliments the others perfectly. The dense crispy bread is a perfect vessel for this artistic compilation of flavors. The main thing is that nothing is over done; everything is in the right amount. The rich creamy croquetas are in perfect harmony with the sweet ham, dense slices of pork, rich sharpness of the cheese and the spicy brininess of the pickles and the mustard. Definitely a must have.
Straying from the traditional, they have a Cuban version of the Cobb Salad topped with either steak, chicken or fish; I had all three. I think it’s a very successful dish. You can tell that the ingredients are very fresh and they all go well together. The chicken is wonderfully seasoned; simply and delicately.
The chicken flavor really comes through as well as nice grill flavors. The steak is cooked to a perfect medium rare but, perhaps it suffers from too subtle a hand in the seasoning. I think the fish suffers from this as well; although it’s moist, flaky and perfectly cooked, by its self it’s a little bland. However, there is a sweet-and-tangy mango vinaigrette that came on the side that saved the day. It is thick and rich and delicious and goes perfectly well with the fish
The “Masitas de Puerco,” which are chunks of pork, deep fried until golden brown were probably my favorite dish that I tried. They were seasoned perfectly; nice and simple. There was no crazy marinade or spice or any other overpowering flavor; all you tasted was pork.
The outside was crispy and wasn’t covered in oil or grease. They were very inviting. The inside was moist and juicy and flavorful and succulent. I kept going back to these as I continued on to other dishes. They were served with raw white onions thinly sliced and lime wedges, both designed to add brightness to the dish and cut the richness of all that pork.
The pork was served with tostones, rice and black beans on the side. The tostones were okay. They were a bit on the chewy side and were a little greasy; they lacked that ear shattering crunch that I was hoping for. The beans were nicely cooked and flavorful. There was some sort of herbal flavor in the back end reminiscent of mint and bay leaf.
One of the dishes that they said we had to try was their chimi-chicken. A butterflied chicken breast cooked with a chimichurri sauce. The sauce actually works with the chicken as opposed to masking it as expected. The sauce is very mild and is more about nuances than taking a dominant role. The chicken is beautifully marked from the grill and is flavored heavily by the flames. It is served with “Moros” and “Maduros” on the side. The ripe plantains are perfect; sweet, tender and super dense. The “Moro”, rice and beans cooked together, was also very good; nice and fluffy.
As I loosened the top button on my pants, the last dish was brought. Now, we normally wouldn’t do a review on a hamburger and French fries since its not Cuban fare, but the manager of Sergio’s insisted that I try it; am I glad he did.
The burger is a nice, juicy 8oz patty topped with romaine lettuce, tomato, red onions and the king of all cheeses; American processed cheese, on a sesame seed bun. The bun is soft and a great compliment to its contents but, it’s a little dry. As a whole though, the burger is one of the best I’ve ever had.
It is served with a sort of an aioli on the side and a mountain of French fries. These fries are amazing. They are salty and ridiculously crispy on the outside. The inside however, is as creamy as it can be. I’m just guessing here, but I’m pretty sure that the fries are par-cooked either in water or low temperature oil ahead of time and then fried crispy to order. There is really no other way to get such an amazing texture contrast on a fry.
The whole experience at Sergio’s was remarkable. From the delicious food to the excellent service and interesting décor, Sergio’s is a great place to go for a meal. The wait staff is very knowledgeable about the dishes and the ingredients, and they are more than happy to help you; they’re also speedy which is just as important. I highly recommend Sergio’s to anyone looking for authentic Cuban cuisine.
Miami, FL 33165
Miami, FL 33186
Hialeah Gardens, FL 33016
Miami, Florida 33133
Take a look at Sergio’s Menu :
Sergio’s Restaurant – The Lunch & Dinner Menu,