Open since 1971, Versailles has become a Miami institution. If you’re looking for a Cuban meal in Miami, most will tell you this is the place to go.
Located in Little Havana, Versailles (@VersaillesMiami) occupies a large and casual space. It’s a little confusing at first since Versailles has a bakery, café, take-out stand and a main dining room. If you’re eating in, make sure you take the correct entrance.
We ate in the main dining room which was lined with long mirrored walls. There wasn’t much in terms of ambiance and kinda reminded me of a cafeteria.
Shortly after ordering our server brought over a basket of Complimentary Garlic Bread. These slices of buttery and garlicky Cuban bread were a nice way to start off the meal but the portions here are enormous so try not to go too crazy with the free bread.
The menu at Versailles is incredibly large and a little overwhelming when trying to decide what to order. So, we took the easy route for our appetizer choice and went with the Versailles Combo – ham & beef empanadas, ham & chicken croquettes and yuca fries served with cilantro sauce ($7.65).
We were huge fans of the yuca fries, particularly when dipped in the cilantro sauce. They had a nice crisp exterior and were surprisingly light and fluffy. I don’t usually like thick-cut fries but these really did it for me.
The one part of the platter I didn’t enjoy was the croquettes. They were a little one-note and too mushy for my liking. Mike kept eating them so I assume he felt differently.
As much as I loved the yuca fries, the empanadas were the real stand out. The pastry was wonderfully flakey and not at all greasy. The meat filling, particularly the beef, was packed full of flavour and left me wanting more. I’d gladly come back just to grab a few empanadas to go!
Cubans love their pork, so we decided to go with the classic Roast Pork Cuban Style – marinated with Cuban Mojo and slow oven roasted, served boneless with Moros rice and boiled Yuca with Mojo ($10.50). The roast pork was served on a separate plate and wasn’t much in terms of presentation – chunks of pork topped with onions and a large piece of fried pork skin (which was much too tough to eat).
The large plate of salty roast pork was good but nothing mind blowing. As indicated in the menu, the roast pork comes with Moros rice (aka black bean rice). I’m not a fan of black beans but took a bite anyways. Turns out, it was really delicious!
I’ll be honest, with all the food we had ordered, I didn’t end up trying any of the boiled yuca. But it was cooked with Mojo (aka garlic sauce), so how bad could it have been?
For some carbs, we ordered the Chicken and Yellow Rice – a Cuban classic served with sweet plantains ($7.50). It reminded us of paella without all the seafood. The rice was on the moist side (like paella) and while it was a touch salty was still really tasty. Don’t let the picture fool you – there’s quite a bit of chicken underneath all the rice. We took half of the rice home and it still tasted great the next day.
The rice came with a side of sweet plantains which I really enjoyed. They were well caramelized and had a slightly crisp exterior. It was a nice accompaniment to the savoury yellow rice.
We couldn’t leave without getting a Cuban Sandwich – sweet ham, roast pork and swiss cheese on toasted Cuban bread with mustard and pickles ($5.95). It’s a pretty large sandwich but you can get an even larger version of this called the “Special Cuban Sandwich” for an extra dollar.
The bread was well-buttered and the melty, gooey cheese peeked out over the sides of the bread. The sandwich contained several layers of ham and roast pork which I found a little dry. It was a solid sandwich but I felt it was missing a little something. While it might not be quite as authentic, I actually preferred the Cuban sandwich from Delux.
At the end of the meal, I ordered a Café Con Leche – coffee with milk ($2.25). They provide you with a cup of steamed milk where you pour the espresso/Cuban coffee into. The coffee comes pre-sweetened so no extra sugar is required.
Versailles got me hooked on these café con leche’s! I tried it several times after Versailles and the other places just didn’t come close.
I can’t speak to the authenticity of the food at Versailles since Cuban food is quite scarce in Toronto but it was a pretty satisfying meal. I have to add that the value here is amazing – it all cost us around $35 and the leftovers fed us for days. Definitely worth a visit!
At a glance:
• A Miami institution which has been open since 1971
• Where to get an authentic Cuban meal in Miami
• Large restaurant – also has a bakery and take-out stand
• Very casual; reminds me of a cafeteria
• Open late
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 1 star