El Palacio de los Jugos
Welcome To Miami (or where are we exactly?)
Hungries, looking for adventure? Well, before boarding a plane to an exotic location, take a trip around Miami. We took our own advice and journeyed to none other than El Palacio de Los Jugos, the mecca of West Flagler and part of Miami’s essence. Why are we praising it so much? Well, we had a tiny revelation of what Miami truly is, what the people are like, what foods we’re most proud of, what we value, and what our culture is all about. Yes, OUR culture!
Are we getting too sentimental, too dramatic? We won’t deny it. We sometimes believe the common perception that Miami is a city that lacks in culture. But maybe, just maybe, that isn’t necessarily true. Maybe it just isn’t “conventional” culture. After all, it’s a little unfair to compare a young city like Miami to history-rich cities like Paris and Rome.
But, ponder this: culture is the distinctive ideas, customs, social behaviors, products, or ways of life of a particular nation, society, people, or period.
So we have El Palacio de los Jugos… Sure, it’s not the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, nor the Coliseum, but it’s what we have, the little tadpole of culture we can embrace. This authentic “juice palace” is where people of all ages gather to stack up on Cuban delicacies, dazzling tropical fruit juices (including mamey, guava, tamarind, papaya, lime, guanábana, watermelon, and coconut), fresh produce, house-made mariquitas, and finger-licking chicharrones.
With signs like “aguacate maduro pidalo en el mostrador” or “mi negocio es prospero porque mi socio es dios”, we get a sense of the Cuban jargon and customs of the area. People are energetically screaming out orders left and right at each cooking station of the open marketplace, satisfying their souls with hearty flavors.
After a silky mamey juice, we headed over to the sandwiches. Debating what to order, we asked the two guys what was good. One answered everything, which left us as equally undecided. The other made it easy and said get the Frita. This Cuban take on a burger was just what we craved. The bread was perfectly pressed with just the right amount of butter to melt in our mouths. As for the meat, it was well seasoned with loads of flavor. We finished this cultural excursion with a croquetica. One did the trick.
Address: 5721 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33144