el rey de las fritas / little havana – miami, fl

I only have a few Florida related posts left, so let me get to another one before I forget all about what Florida was like!

After cruising around Key West in the humid warm weather, we left the Keys and traveled up to Miami. I really wanted to have lunch in Miami and picked a place in Little Havana called El Rey de las Fritas.


I read about fritas on Yelp and after doing a Google search and they sounded interesting enough. I picked El Rey de las Fritas as the place to go to try a frita for the first time. I can’t remember why exactly. It looks pretty old school with the fading color on the letters and drugged out looking “rey” (king).


It was pretty spacious inside. This is only half of the counter top space – there’s another horseshoe to the left and a few tables along the back wall (where we sat).


It was easier to read this menu then to try to read everything on the walls. This is the back side.


And here’s the inside. We picked all of the items and then made Mr. Fluent Spanish Speaker (Chris) order the food. I probably should have kept up with my Spanish studies in school after all… hmm.


[ham croquettes / $0.85 cents each]

Naturally I had to order more croquettes since I LOVE these things. I have no idea why they’re served with packages of saltines though… Chris didn’t know either. They don’t serve them with saltines in Tampa. I wonder if it’s just a Miami thing.


Hello creamy, delicious inside! I love the crisp exterior with the meaty and creamy flavor inside. I could not get enough of these suckers.


[mamey shake / $3.75]

Chris wanted us to try a Mamey shake… so we did. It tasted a bit like papaya, it was sweet (but not overkill) and a pleasant flavor and texture. We liked it!


[prepared tamale with roast pork / $6.50]

This is a Cuban style tamale. It is “prepared” so it comes with more stuff. Namely it’s covered in a tomato based sauce that had a lot of onions in it, chunks of roast pork and a side of shoestring potatoes. The potatoes are kind of like potato sticks – very, very crunchy and a little bit salty. I’ve never seen a tamale served like this before!


Within the masa there was little bits and pieces of pork and little bits of corn.

I didn’t write any notes about what I thought of the tamale, sorry, and now I can’t remember!


[cuban coffee / $0.85]

This was my first crack at Cuban coffee on our trip. And it only cost 85 cents! Geez. We got one coffee and three little shot glasses. Chris poured it out for us. I sipped on mine and loved the deep, intense flavor. Jake drank it all in one shot and then made a face because this stuff is intense – and well, he doesn’t really like the taste of coffee anyway. I don’t know why he decided to just shoot it!


[cuban sandwich / $4.50]

It seemed like it would be wrong to NOT have a Cuban sandwich in Miami but honestly this one didn’t even compare to the ones we had in Tampa. The bread was very thin and very dry – almost like crackers. Chris said that meant that they bread was stale when they used it – so I can’t decide if that was on purpose or not. This had ham, pork, swiss cheese and pickles in it. The pork was also on the dry side and I wasn’t really into this one. Sorry, Miami. But Tampa’s got the better Cuban sandwich!


[bacon & swiss frita / $5.75]

Finally we’re getting to the star of the show here – the Frita! The frita is kind of like a Cuban hamburger. It’s actually kind of small – it’s about the side of a slider, but overflowing with the crunchy potato sticks inside.


It’s served on Cuban bread (which was the only faulty thing about this since the bread was so dry). The patty is seasoned ground beef which tastes a lot like chorizo. The patty was incredibly flavorful, juicy and quite tasty. The potato sticks gave it some crunch and the bacon and cheese added another layer of flavor that I really enjoyed. This was kind of hard to eat with the potato sticks running every which way, but it was darn good. 

El Rey de las Fritas
1821 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135

After lunch, we headed over towards South Beach. We wanted to see a tiny bit more of Miami before we left!


Some colorful buildings on the way to South Beach.


South Beach!


South Beach is lined with all of these cool art deco looking buildings like the Carlyle.


And the Leslie.


And the Versace Mansion. We didn’t actually go inside (we heard it’s a museum now). We just gawked from the outside and then walked to the beach.


You can’t actually see the ocean while walking down the street in South Beach. There’s buildings on one side, then the street, then the sidewalk/park area. From the park area you can see these entrances that lead to the beach.


This is on the other side of the fences on the beach side, looking north.


And then you still gotta trudge through sand before you get to the ocean. HOW WEIRD. I guess I’m just used to the ocean being RIGHT THERE and visible right away.

We stuck our feet in the Atlantic and then took this awesome selfie:


I love this photo.

While walking back to the car, we totally witnessed this little bit of a drag show that I recorded a little bit of.

I giggled watching this. I loved it! The boys looked a little uncomfortable. Heh heh.


Jake also got me these roses from a walking vendor… (aww)…


And we drove by the Fontainebleau hotel which has been a filming location for many movies, including A Hole in the Head (featuring Frank Sinatra), The Bellboy (with Jerry Lewis), James Bond movie Goldfinger, Scarface (Al Pacino), Police Academy 5, The Bodyguard (Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston) and the Specialist (Sylvester Stallone). I honestly couldn’t remember it from any of these movies but I did watch the scene that takes place at the pool in Scarface. I won’t link it here though. I’m sure you can find it on your own.

And this ends our Miami adventures – just a little bit left to share!

4 thoughts on “el rey de las fritas / little havana – miami, fl

  1. I actually thought Fritas was like the female version of a Frito. So I read the post title as King of the Female Corn Chip. I do not know why.

    I was shaking my head about the saltines being served with those croquettes. Sounds so dry and makes no sense. I want to try that Cuban coffee shot. Are those shots sweetened at all or was it straight up black coffee?

    That Cuban was the flattest sandwich ever. I usually love flat, crispy panini type sammies but that one looked a bit sad 🙁

    The beach photo of you 3 was awesome. Loved the breezy ocean background !

    1. hahah. Okay, King of the Female Corn Chip sounds so funny! Yeah, I’ve no idea why they served the croquettes with saltines. Didn’t make sense to me.

      You can get the shots with milk or sweetened but we just had the straight black coffee. Hard core. I’d maybe want it with milk next time. A teeny bit of sugar. But I still liked it black.

      The Cuban sandwich was sad. Too flat. Too cracker like. Boo.

  2. Oh I totally want to try the Cuban coffee too. I love coffee too much. I’ve been cutting back, but too hard to stay away cold turkey.

    I love Cuban Sandwiches! Too bad the ones you had weren’t great. Have you seen that “Chef” movie? I haven’t watched it yet, but I hear everyone leaves the theater craving a Cubano. I think I am going to go straight to a Cuban place after I watch it or maybe sneak in the sandwich (just kidding).

    1. Hi Miss Kim – YES, I saw the “Chef” movie and I totally loved it! It made me really hungry while watching the movie but it was really excellent. Good story, good heart and lots of food porn. 🙂 We had much better Cuban sandwiches in Tampa – maybe I just had it at the wrong place in Miami. Oh well. Definitely have a snack or something before you go see Chef so you’re not starving… haha.

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