Mexico to Miami by Way of New York

Another New York import is on its way to Miami, but lo and behold it's not a steakhouse. Instead, it's Mercadito, from Chef Patricio Sandoval, which pitches itself as being inspired by the food of Mexican markets but with a modern flair. They currently have three locations in New York City which seem to get a decent amount of love on the Manhattan Chowhound board. Their fish tacos in particular oft are singled out for high praise.

I'm not sure what to make of the fact that their 5-page menu only has 2 pages of actual foodstuffs, the rest being a pretty impressive list of tequilas, cocktails, wine & beer, other than that you may be carrying me out of there. The food items look to have the same contemporary, vaguely upscale, geographically unplaceable quality of, say, Rosa Mexicano, another Mexico-to-Miami-by-way-of-New-York mini-chain. As compared to Rosa Mexicano, it seems that more of Mercadito's menu is focused on a lengthy selection of tacos and smaller plates, though I'm a bit disappointed to see that with nearly a dozen taco options to choose from there are still none of the more visceral taco stand staples like lengua, tripas, cabeza, etc. But then I can always find the Orale taco stand and get such things for about 1/3 of the price on the Mercadito menu.

Mercadito's Miami outpost is destined for Midtown Miami where they are taking out a 5,000 square foot space. Other tenants supposedly slated for Midtown Miami include Brasserie d'Azur (from the same folks who brought you Maison d'Azur), Sugarcane Lounge from the SushiSamba folks, The Cheese Course, and Primo Pizza. Projected opening is "Winter 2009." Some good Mexican would be a nice addition to Miami dining options, especially in the Midtown area, though it sure seems we've been hearing about all these places slated for Midtown Miami for quite some time.


  1. i doubt Brasserie D'Azur will open since Maison went bust at the Astor...I have seen signs and coming soons from the Sushi Samba outpost and The Cheese Course for almost a year or more anything besides Five Guys really destined to make it in that locale? A friend of mine got mugged in broad daylight there..

  2. "A friend of mine got mugged in broad daylight there.."

    Yeah and I invented the question mark!!!!!

  3. It does seem we've been hearing about places going into Midtown Miami without seeing much action for quite some time - but I've got to assume Mercadito wouldn't be sending out a press release if they've already abandoned it.

  4. Yes, come on, enough with the "design district is dangerous" crap.

    Have you tried Burritos Grill in Biscayne, up by 105st or so? Horrible name, great homestyle Mexican.

  5. I have tried Burritos Grill and it's definitely better than most Miami generic Mexican fare - but I prefer Cheen Huaye further up Biscayne, which is a little more refined.

  6. I like Cheen Huaye as well, but it's different. It's Yucateca cuisine, which is actually my favorite Mexican regional cuisine (I lived in Merida for a year).

    A Veracruz/Guerrero restaurant would be fantastic as well.

  7. that area IS dangerous, but in some cases (michael's genuine in particular), it's delicious. just don't wear any good jewelry and carry no cash.


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