Located in Doral, just west of Miami, La Esquina del Lechon is famous for their pan con lechon (aka roast pork sandwiches). Known as one of the best pan con lechons in the Miami area, I was couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into one of these sandwiches.
La Esquina del Lechon is a casual, low-key restaurant. They’ve got a bit of parking outside but I can imagine it gets pretty packed during the lunch rush.
Many people will recommend dropping by on a Thursday, Saturday or Sunday where they roast entire pigs cooked in a caja china (a type of BBQ roasting grill).
I’ll have to warn you – some of the servers don’t speak very much English. When we asked our server for some forks, she had to bring over another server who could understand us.
After we ordered, we were brought a basket of complimentary bread and chicharrónes. While the bread wasn’t anything special, the chicharrónes (aka fried pork rinds) were a welcome surprise – salty, fatty, crispy and oh-so-delicious. If only all restaurants served free pork rinds…
We started off with the Aperitivo Especial – chorizo, chicharron, queso frito, yuca frita con mojo de la casa ($9).
Needless to say, the pork rinds were delicious. The chorizo was solid and the fried queso cheese was a stand out. I don’t even want to think about my cholesterol after eating here.
The only part of the platter I wasn’t a fan of was the yuca fries. The texture of them just weren’t as good as the ones at Versailles. The ones here tasted like mashed potatoes on the inside.
The platter came with three different sauces – a cilantro-based sauce, mojo sauce (garlic oil) and a hot sauce. My favourite was the mojo but be warned…this stuff is incredibly potent! A little goes a long way.
Now, onto what we came here for, the El “Famoso” Pan con Lechon – slow roasted pork with tropical house sauce and served on Cuban bread with sautéed onions, crushed pork rinds and accompanied with plantain chips ($6.95).
It’s a pretty large sandwich but you can get an even larger one for an extra $2. The sandwich was packed full of roast pork and on my initial few bites I can’t say I was blown away. I couldn’t really taste the tropical house sauce and found it a little on the dry side.
Our server had brought over some sauces at the beginning of the meal – mojo sauce, chimichurri and cilantro sauce and adding some of them to the sandwich made a world of difference. I particularly enjoyed the sandwich smothered in the mojo and chimichurri.
Overall, I have to say the sandwich was a little disappointing. It wasn’t a bad sandwich but I had pretty high expectations for this place given that they’re known for having the best pan con lechon in Miami.
We also ordered an Ensalada de Lechon Asado – roasted pork served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, bell pepper, carrot, olives, cheese and your choice of dressing ($8.95), which proved to be a little too much food. With our appetizer platter, we could’ve easily just shared the pan con lechon.
It was a standard salad with the usual dressing offerings – balsamic, ranch, Italian, French and thousand island. Nothing memorable about this salad.
To finish off the meal, I ordered a Café con Leche Grande – milk with coffee ($2.75). After trying one at Versailles a few days before, I got hooked!
So, was La Esquina Del Lechon worth the drive to Doral? In my opinion, no. While I’m glad I tried their pan con lechon and their food wasn’t bad, nothing was particularly memorable. If you’re in the area, it’s worth a visit but I wouldn’t go too out of my way to drop by.
At a glance:
• Casual, low-key restaurant in Doral, just west of Miami
• Known for serving up the best pan con lechon (roast pork sandwich) in the Miami area
• On Thursdays/Saturdays/Sundays, they do whole roast pigs
• Servers don’t speak very much English
• Food was decent but I wouldn’t go too out of my way to drop by
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 2.5 stars
• Service: 1 star
• Atmosphere: 1 star