|The tour group outside of El Pub|
|Tostones rellenos de pollo|
|The inside of the picadillo empanadas!|
From El Pub, we made our way to the Cuba Tobacco Cigar shop. This tiny cigar shop is owned and operated by the Bello family who immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1960's. Their award winning cigars are rolled right in front of you at the store and even though I'm not a fan of cigars seeing the craftsmanship that goes into make them is really admirable.
|The front of Cuba Tobacco Cigar wih the owner, Don Pedro Bello Sr.|
|Hand rolled cuban cigars|
|Cuban Cafecito being served at El Exquisito's ventana|
|Pile of Cuban Sandwiches at El Exquisito's ventana|
From here, we crossed the street and checked out Domino Park. We watched elderly Hispanic men argue over the Cuban regime, play dominoes and conspire while playing chess. Our visit to Domino Park was brief as storm clouds and lightening began to get closer and closer. Ralph then reminded us this tour goes on, "rain or shine!" We then collectively said to ourselves, "OH SHIT!"
As we waked to our next stop, Fruteria Los Pinareños, we started to get rained on. We hauled ass and found ourselves under the cover of the small fruit stand. We crammed into the small space and caught our breath. Ralph then began to discuss some of the tropical fruit that the tourists had never seen before. Ralph mentioned that this particular fruit stand had been in existence for over 50 years. We sipped on fresh guarapo and tried tried to wait out the rain. Unfortunately, fifteen minutes later the weather had upgraded to tropical storm status. As many in the group were about to call it quits, Ralph reminded us the next stop was the last one of the tour and it came with ice cream. I mean, ice cream y'all... no one walks away from ice cream.
|Guarapo from the Fruteria|
We all said PLP and made a run for it. Some of us had ponchos, others had plastic bags over there heads and others didn't give a damn. We all had one thing in mind: ICE CREAM. We ran into Azucar, some of us jay-walked across 8th street and were nearly run over, all in the name of ice cream. As we walked in we caught our breaths and were greeted by the Azucar staff. We gazed at the variety of flavors and I went with my favorite flavor at Azucar, Abuela Maria. It's by far their most popular and most consistent flavor with abuela maria cookies, guava and cheese.
|Abuela Maria Ice Cream|
This tour was not just fun, It made me appreciate little things exclusive to Miami that we tend to take for granted like fruterias and ventanitas. If you're looking for something different to do in town or are in need of date ideas, be sure to check out Miami Culinary Tours!