Porfirio’s – Miami Beach

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Seabass al Pastor

I love Mexican food and  was very excited to hear about a very popular restaurant in Mexico city that had just opened  in South Beach. So, I gathered a group of friends and dashed over to explore what all the fuss was about!

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Shrimp Guajillo

Outside, a lovely lit sign that reads Porfirio’s Mexican Non Cliché caught me by surprise. Hmmm…what are they trying to say? That they don’t serve tacos or tamales?  No Tex-Mex here?

Intrigued, I walked into this modern eatery not knowing quite what to find.  It looked a lot more like a hip Asian restaurant than your typical colorful  south of the border joint.  Wide spaces surrounded by beaufiful wood paneled walls keeping up with the trendy feel so common in South Beach.

Our server, a young friendly Basque named Enrique, poured the perfect Gin Tonic that was mixed right in front of me, something unusual in the US.  No, I did not have any tequila but I did try the Pierde Almas Mezcal, made from the Maguey plant, that has a slightly smokey  and sweeter taste.

Yet, as  I looked through the menu, I could barely recognize any of the dishes as Mexican: Burger?  Black Alaskan cod in squid ink? Where are the tortas, the sopes, the enchiladas shown on the original menu??

Fortunately, I found some pretty good guacamole with chips as well as some deliciously grilled octopus tacos  and  a very Mexican appetizer called  esquites made with corn, cheese, lemon, Piquin chile and a little too much mayo for my  taste

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Alaskan cod
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Baked bananas

The best dish of all was  the tender and moist sea bass  al Pastor( marinated with anatto and chargrilled).  As far as the cod in squid ink for $39, very dry! And the ink sauce was so salty it was almost impossible to eat as opposed to the huge shrimp Guajillo  which was rather bland.

Fortunately,  desert was actually very nice. The baked  bananas served with vanilla ice cream were quite the treat in a foster kind of way.  The strawberries with meringue were light and tasty also. Whether non cliché or not, all in all, Porfirio’s was somewhat of a disappointment.  Instead of trying to be like most of the other stuffy and overpriced Miami Beach restaurants, perhaps it should offer more of the authentic fare  it serves back home. After all, everyone knows that   Mexican  cuisine is one of the best in the world! 

Porfirio’s

850 Commerce Street

Miami Beach, FL 33139

786 216 7675

http://www.porfirios.com.mx

Kale salad with quinoa

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This is a highly nutritious and delicious salad.  Kale, loaded with antioxidants,  is high in vitamin A and C. Walnuts add vitamin E and omega 3s. Quinoa is a power food high in protein, magnesium and folate.

2 cups of chopped organic kale

1/4 cup quinoa 

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup  chopped onion

1 cup chopped  walnuts

1/4 cranberries

1 orange (squeezed)

1/2 lemon (squeezed)

2 tbsp honey

4 tbsp of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Sautée the chopped onion, add salt  and let it caramelize- about 20 minutes. Set aside. In the meantime, sautée minced garlic in a tbsp of olive oil, add quinoa and toast for a bit.  Add  1/4  cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Once done, remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes covered. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Wash kale and dry well. Chop in ribbons and place in a large bowl. Make dressing by mixing orange juice, lemon juice, 2 tbsp of  honey, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Emulsify with a whisk. Cover kale with the dressing, mix well. Toss in quinoa, walnuts and cranberries. Enjoy!