Posted March 4, 2014
By ASHLEY MCBRIDE
Diners at Frida Mexican Restaurant are immersed in Mexican culture and cuisine at the dainty restaurant in South Miami.
Located just south of the University of Miami on South Dixie Highway, it is sure to attract students who are looking for an alternative to Lime, the Mexican grill on campus, and Chipotle, the popular hotspot down the street.
Frida boasts colorful and ornate walls, painted blue and pink and adorned with authentic Mexican arts and crafts. Portraits of artist Frida Kahlo, for whom one would assume the restaurant is named, also decorate the walls, along with skulls, mariachi dolls and traditional Mexican masks. Patrons are also serenaded by mariachi music playing from speakers in the ceiling.
The restaurant, which opened in early January, features an impressive menu of appetizers, soups and salads, specialties, entrees, seafood, drinks and options for children. Each party is given complimentary chips when they are seated, accompanied by a red or green salsa, both of which are spicy.
The chips and salsa are a great way to whet one’s appetite while deciding on the main course, or even an appetizer and a main course. However, the salsa may be jarring to some because it is a completely liquid salsa – no chunks of tomato or remnants of avocado there.
Patrons at Frida are encouraged to seat themselves, so there may not be a waiter or waitress at the entrance to greet them.
The atmosphere is very casual and family-friendly, and there is also outdoor seating available for the sunny days that seem to be aplenty in South Florida.
Since the restaurant is still relatively new, it seemed to be overstaffed, and some of the wait staff were just congregating and chatting with each other, while others were attending to the customers.
For seafood lovers, the “Coctel 1907” is a must-try. Served in a large glass that one might use for a shrimp cocktail, it features shrimp, scallops and calamari mixed in a tomato puree with onions, tomato and cilantro, and topped with chunks of avocado.
The dish is served chilled and presented with crackers for the customers to eat with it. The seafood was fresh, and mixed with the tomato sauce, it had a unique and succulent taste. The dish can be eaten with the crackers, or by itself.
The taco menu greets customers with familiarity, as it features fish tacos, steak tacos and other popular taco dishes. The fish tacos, which are a staple at any Mexican restaurant worth it’s salt, were mediocre in taste and seasoning.
The wait for the food was short, in that it wasn’t long enough to wonder when the food would be arriving.
The dish was served with two breaded fish tacos in corn tortillas, with lettuce, tomato, cabbage and skimpy chipotle sauce, along with rice and refried beans.
However, the servings were still decent for the price, at $11. The fish was very hot when they were served which is a plus.
The steak tacos were also nothing to rave about. This meal was served with simply three soft corn tortillas, chopped steak, onions, cilantro and lime.
While the fish tacos were already prepared when they came out of the kitchen, the “Bistec Tacos” were served such that the customer makes his or her own tacos and decides how much food to put in each.
The steak was cooked well done, but it seemed the chef skipped the seasoning on this dish as well.
The chopped steak was bland and when eaten with the corn tortilla, the tortilla was quite overpowering and the resulting taste was a mouthful of dry bread.
Dessert was not on the menu and the waitress did not present a dessert menu to the table, so one must assume that the new restaurant has not ventured into the dessert arena as of yet.
In all, the chips and salsa presented at the beginning of the dining experience and the seafood cocktail appetizer were the best parts of the meal and the atmosphere, the music and the decorations on the walls made for an overall pleasant dining experience.
The food was decent for the price as well, which was about $33 for an appetizer and two entrees. I would dine there again in order to try more things on the menu and hope that the food seasoning was a mishap just for this time.
- 8211 S Dixie Hwy., South Miami, Fla. 33143
- Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays
- Mexican cuisine
- Pricing is per entrée
- One person can expect to spent $8 to $12 on entrees, $10 to $15 on appetizers
- Dress code is casual
- Cash and major credit and debit cards are accepted
- Overall rating: 4/5
- Quality of food: 3/5
- Value: 4/5
- Service: 4/5
- Décor: 5/5