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!
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
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!
850 Commerce Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139
786 216 7675