By Sue Arrowsmith
Miami’s historic Puerto Rican neighborhood may be all souped-up with galleries and designer shops, but one recent newcomer to the Wynwood area is making sure tradition stays alive.
Six months ago Chef Jimmy Carey opened a second location for his celebrated restaurant, Jimmyz Kitchen, serving six different types of Mofongo and hosting live bomba and plena music performances during the monthly Wynwood Art Walk.
If you’re not familiar with Mofongo ($13.25-$19.99), you’re in for a treat. Made with mashed green plantains, ground up pork grinds, garlic, and other spices, this Puerto Rican traditional dish is one-of-a-kind. The chicken, churrasco and shrimp options are served in a pool of chunky creole sauce. The other choices are Blackened Mahi Mahi, pork and mixed seafood.
Back on South Beach, where his first restaurant still stands, Jimmy began serving Mofongo on the weekends just for fun, in addition to his healthy international menu of Panini, sandwiches and salads. Before long, he had rounded up a demand and enough money to set up a second location.
“Jimmy likes to say he built this restaurant selling one Mofongo at a time at his South Beach location,” said Natasha Otero-Santiago, his longtime friend and PR specialist.
Other menu items include the Jerked Chicken Breast Salad (mildly spicy, $10.25), perfect for a hot August night. It’s made with grilled chicken on a bed of fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and mango slices, and toasted almonds on top. Served with a Sherry vinaigrette.
Also try the Chicken Portabella ($9.99), a combination of sautéed chicken breast with a portabella mushroom mix and wilted arugula, served over garlic roasted potatoes.
Set right along North Miami Avenue, Jimmyz Kitchen is chic and sophisticated, with a modern, industrial décor. The bright orange and grey walls are paired with replicas of local graffiti from around the hood. The cafeteria-style service, where you order up front at the counter and they bring it to your table, allows him to keep the prices reasonable.
Before your pants bust, order a slice of the delicious homemade Guava Cheesecake ($4). It’s worth the extra calories!
2700 N. Miami Ave., Suite 5
Miami, Fl. 33127
Visit them online, www.jimmyzkitchen.com/
Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Take-out, delivery and catering availableFollow @greatfoodlist