Friday, January 21, 2011
Los Verdes: Oh MyCitos!!!
Once again I find myself in the magic city of Miami, the 24-hour paradise playground that seems to never run out of things for a young adult to become distracted with. During my visit home, I was lucky to have stumbled upon a gem lighting up the streets of Miami with its two neon “OPEN” sign and enormously green logo. Well in reality I didn’t really stumble upon it rather I was dragged there by one of my best friends, Paula, but nevertheless the opportunity presented itself, beckoning me to chase it …and so I did.
Los Verdes was its name, and Colombian fast food is their game (^corny). If you aren’t familiar with Colombian fast food, here is a quick rundown. Over recent years, Colombians have been notoriously taking over the hotdog game. Their “perros calients” are known all over for their off-the-wall and intense amount of toppings such as potato sticks, quail eggs, bacon, pineapple, bacon(yes I said it twice), beef, pork, chicken, and just about any thing else they can come up with. But they don’t limit themselves to just hotdogs; Colombian folk love to get just as creative with their hamburgers, Arepas Rellenas (stuffed arepa), Chuzos(kebab), their Salchipapas, a mixture of sliced Salchicha (sausage) and Papas(French fries), and of course today’s focus: Maicitos! All these foods are intended to be eaten on the go; they are the perfect street food for anyone to munch on. But los Verdes is far from a food stand you might find at an intersection somewhere in downtown Miami.
If I had to capture the essence of Los Verdes in a few words I would have to employ the use of “Guy Fieri cooks for Adam Richman, after a run-in with Johnny Walker, featuring Daddy Yankee”. That is to say Los Verdes is open until 6am on weekends and 3am on weekdays. These fantastic hours of operation make it ideal place for late-night, post-club, intoxicated dining which make their food so much more tasty, but its just as delicious when sober. Not only is the food spectacular but it also comes in vast amounts, and it massages the ears with the loud thump of Reggaeton music that resonates from the speakers that sequin the ceiling. If your coming in fresh from the nightclub the atmosphere is definitely appropriate, however the volume of the speakers doesn’t change if you visit in the middle of the day which makes going out to have lunch with a friend a bit of an uncomfortable experience. But then again, if you often find yourself in the midst of awkward pauses when you engage in conversation, Los Verdes will definitely give you a semi-deafening helping of noise to fill in those voids of awkwardness and lack of personality.
However what I’ll be focusing on this time around is something you might not be too familiar with; a wonderful dish known as Maicitos. …So you’re probably asking yourself: “what exactly are Maicitos?” Well the best way to describe it would be corny, cheesy, saucy, crunchy, meaty goodness. And by that I mean that the base ingredient is corn, thus the name Maicito (Maiz is Spanish for corn). It’s accompanied by some special mixture of sauce and cheese and lined with layers of crushed potato chips to give it a nice little crunch. In addition to that, you have the option of throwing in some form of meat into the mix such as steak, chicken, chorizo, bacon, or all of the above. The result is a myriad of flavors polymerized into a surge of deliciousness that is quite unique. I might not look too great when you just look at it because its simply so much blended into one dish that it really just looks like Colombian slop. However it as tastes just as delicious as it looks messy.
I went ahead and ordered my Maicitos with steak, which I feel was probably the best possible choice. The reason being that it was the most tender churrasco chopped into pieces and mixed in with the rest of the ingredients and it definitely was a great compliment to the dish. To me this dish was a beautiful blend of textures that all had a great affect on the entire chewing experience and mixed well with the flavors they worked with. The corn added a nice texture to the meal as the kernels burst with every bite I took, the potato chips threw in the crunchy effect, while the cheese made it gooey and oozy. In addition to what already comes with it, Los Verdes gives you the option of putting a little bit more into your maicitos with any of its four additional sauces they provide. The options are Pineapple sauce, Green Sauce, Pink Sauce and Ajo(garlic sauce). All four sauces are pretty tasty my favorite is probably between the green sauce and the Ajo sauce. It’s pretty hard to tell exactly what is in each of the sauces, but I know for a fact that they all will go well with your maicitos except for maybe the pineapple. For me it was just a little too sweet but it definitely compliments the hotdogs PERFECTLY.
It seems to me that this dish definitely is a reflection of the city in which it was prepared. Just a Miami is a melting pot of the world’s diverse cultures, lifestyles, and mindsets. Maicitos are equally diverse in their flavors, textures, and the ingredients you can throw into them. But like always the best part of any dish you can find on this blog is, of course, the price. A measly $5.89 to enjoy a meal that perfectly reflects the city of Miami in a setting and atmosphere that perfectly reflects the city of Miami, I don’t think you can beat that.. Sure its not the healthiest meal on the planet but the body surely could do well with a little greasy deliciousness every now and then (especially after a long night out on South Beach). So definitely try and make it out to this establishment if you’re ever in town and given the opportunity. Also if you ever find yourself in front of any form of Colombian fast food I implore you to dive in and take a bite… you definitely will not be disappointed.