Miami’s Takeout Guide for Walter Mercado's Documentary

Where to order for delivery or pick up if you're watching Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Photo Credit: Miranda Kruse  and Stephen’s Delicatessen
Miami abuelas, their nietos and nietas are so excited for the July 8th premiere of Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado.

This Netflix original documentary was created and directed by Cristina Costantini, Kareem Tabsch and produced by Alex Fumero. We had the pleasure of chatting with Kareem and Alex about how this documentary came to life, who Walter was, his relationship to food, and of course their favorite restaurants in Miami.

If you grew up watching Walter with mom and abuela on Primer Impacto then you’ll relate to the feeling that director and creator Kareem Tabsch explained, “Like a lot of Miami kids, we grew up with Walter. We would stay quiet and watch it with Abuela.” 120 million people at a time, shared that same sentiment. Lin-Manuel Miranda who also makes a cameo in the film reiterated that this time was sacred, “Shut up Walter Mercado is on,” he shouted with excitement as he described to Walter himself, remembering the nostalgic moments from his past, watching him on screen, and finally being able to meet him in person.

Cristina, Kareem and Alex wanted to tell Walter’s story of how this shy boy from Ponce, Puerto Rico grew up and became this mystical character recognized internationally. He chose astrology as the medium to connect with us but his presence in our lives gave us hope and love every day. The sort of hope and love we could use today.

It took almost three years to finalize the production and tell the story of the man behind the cape, covered in gems from head to toe. Walter was a dreamer, a real-life show stopper. He was beloved by the Hispanic community and recognized on an international level. He defied sexuality and gender in the 70s and 80s, which was unheard of. But what we didn’t know was that Walter had a sense of humor. Alex says, “He was really funny and in on the joke. He was fully aware of the guy he was on TV.” Alex shared that he died knowing that Netflix was interested in the documentary but while filming he never really understood why they would film him having breakfast. He would say, “that so boring.” But it was these small details that painted the picture of the extravagant and fearless Walter Mercado.

Walter’s relationship with food highly differs from our own. He was a pescatarian, not big on cooking but loved to make tea for his nieces, guests and staff. Kareem remembers trying this tea. It was the best tea he ever had. “I’m sure it was the Amaretto” and ironically enough Walter wasn’t a big drinker. Willy Acosta, his long time assistant that was like family to Walter, took care of him. He would remind Walter to eat. Walter was very healthy and there’s actually a scene in the film that showcases cabinets full of supplements and vitamins. Beauty and staying young was extremely important for Walter, especially in his late years.

Alex says that early on in his life, Walter was very interested in trying local cuisines whenever he traveled and knew it was important to discover different cultures through food. Alex believes that young Walter would have loved eating at a place like la Fresa Francesa in Hialeah for its Caribbean vibe mixed with French elegance.

Miami was always Walter’s second home. The Miami community loves him so much that local restaurants have honored him in two very special ways. Beverage Director Bobby Gilardi of Ariete pays homage with a smokey, floral Walter Mercado cocktail and a playing card attached to the drink. Matt Kuscher of Kush Hospitality has a whole bathroom for the ladies at Stephen’s Deli dedicated to Walter Mercado with wall art of his face and infamous saying “mucha paz, pero sobre todo mucho, mucho amor”.

Food is sacred to us the same way watching Walter growing up was sacred to so many. When a really good meal is good, we’ll stay quiet. So if you’re looking for some optimism and hope watch Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado.

Don’t know what to order while watching Walter? Kareem and Alex shared their favorite Miami spots for pick-up or delivery. If he was watching this with us today he’d probably eat very little, in fact, we’d eat for him.

 

Kareem Tabsch – Director of Mucho Mucho Amor

TRAN AN


Address: 140 NE 39th St. Ste 241. Miami, FL 33137
Neighborhood: Design District
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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SUSHI ERIKA


Address: 1700 John F Kennedy Causeway #100, North Bay Village, FL 33141
Neighborhood:  North Bay Village
Cuisine: Sushi
Takeout or Delivery: RE-OPEN on July 28th (Tuesday) for TAKE OUT ONLY. To order call +1 786-216-7216

 

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CHEF CREOLE


Address: 200 NW 54th St, Miami, FL 33127
Neighborhood: Buena Vista
Cuisine: Seasoned
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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MICHAEL’S GENUINE


Address: 130 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
Neighborhood: Design District
Cuisine: American
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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CY CHINESE RESTAURANT


Address: 242 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, FL 33162
Neighborhood: North Miami Beach
Cuisine: Chinese
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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RED ROOSTER


Address: 920 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33136
Neighborhood: Overtown
Cuisine: Ice Cream & Chicken
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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Alex Fumero – Producer of Mucho Mucho Amor

SIR PIZZA


Address: 712 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Neighborhood: Key Biscayne
Cuisine: Pizzeria
Takeout or Delivery: HERE or call (305) 361-5701

 

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LONG GONG


Address: 11920 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33184
Neighborhood: Sweetwater
Cuisine: Chinese
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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HABANA VIEJA


Address: 2475 SW 37th Ave, Miami, FL 33145
Neighborhood: 
Cuisine: Cuban
Takeout: Call 305-448-6660

 

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CHEESE BURGER BABY


Address: 1505 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Neighborhood: Miami Beach
Cuisine: American
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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CAFFE ABBRACI


Address: 318 Aragon Ave, Miami, FL 33134
Neighborhood: Coral Gables
Cuisine: Italian
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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LA FRESA FRANCESA


Address: 59 W 3rd St, Hialeah, FL 33010
Neighborhood: Hialeah
Cuisine: French
Takeout or Delivery: HERE

 

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Photo credit: Miranda Kruse and Stephen’s Delicatessen