100 Montaditos funky, but appealing

Posted March 1, 2013


Just a few blocks from the South Miami Metro station and the Sunset shopping plaza, lies 100 Montaditos – that’s Cien Montaditos for you gringos – a funky little tapas sandwich place at the intersection of SW 58th Avenue and SW 73rd Street. It’s essentially across the street from Bougainvillea’s Bar and just around the corner from Cerveza’s and The Irish Times pub.

This particular restaurant is a franchise of chain owned by Spanish entrepreneur José Maria Fernandez Capitán. 100 Montaditos opened first location in Spain in 2000, and spread from there to the Americas, opening locations in Colombia and Mexico in 2011. Its U.S. locations include several franchises in South Florida and the Miami area including Midtown, Brickell, Plantation, Kendall, Pembroke Pines, and Coral Gables, as well South Miami.

Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 100 Montaditos is a perfectly positioned (in both a geographical and marketing sense of the word) to capture the coveted intoxicated-college-students-with-the-munchies demographic.

The namesake specialty, the Montadito, of which there really are 100 unique variations, is a tapas-sized Spanish sandwich roll stuffed with … well, basically anything – but more on that later. 100 Montaditos makes its own bread and serves up made-to-order sandwiches that are perfect for almost any appetite. Its prices and specials are hard to beat, and their location – walking distance from the University of Miami campus and surrounded by bars – make for a lively, but not raucus, crowd.

Montaditos appetizers include a potato chip cone, Spanish olives, French fries, and Brava potatoes – all for between $1 and $3. For desert, you get a choice of ice cream or no ice cream – one for $2, the other for free.

Montaditos also serves a small selection of sandwich platters for $9 and salads for $5.50, but when you’re in a restaurant that offers 100 different sandwiches, what the heck are you doing ordering anything else? (Don’t worry, there are a few options for those with sweet-toothed taste buds – Montaditos also has a handful of chocolate-themed sandwiches for $2.50)

All of Montadito’s montaditos are priced between $1 and $3, which is a pretty good bargain for the quantity and quality. The ingredients are fresh and, perhaps not unexpectedly, the combinations range from classic to creative.

In the “Low Cost Zone” (always $1), go with the grilled chicken and ali oli (#7) or the pulled BBQ pork (#8). Among other “Classics” ($1.50), the ham, cheddar and sweet relish (#14) and the Spanish omelet with chorizo and ali oli (#20) both stood out.

For “Special Classics” ($2) try the fried calamari (#31) and the shrimp, guacamole, and lettuce (#53). In the “American” section ($2), stay away from the two hot dog-style montaditos (#56 and #57) and go for the burger cheddar bacon something something something (#58) instead.

The house-made olive bread sandwiches ($2.50) are worth the huge price increase – especially the serrano ham and tomato combo (#66). For health nuts, try the whole wheat selections ($2.50) – recommended: hummus tomato, red onion, and lettuce with ali oli (#79) The “chapata” bread was also worth the premium price ($2.50) with two kinds of meatball-marinara matchups (#87 and #88) among many other mouth-watering montaditos.

But, might I recommend the mother of all specials: all one hundred montaditos for $100 (yes, even the chocolate ones.) Drop in with 10 of your closest friends (it gets busy at night, but there’s extra room at an outside seating area) and for $10 each you could have yourselves a serious feast.

The sandwiches average four or five bites apiece, and they come with a small side of potato chips. A couple of montaditos is a fairly filling meal for a price that won’t thin your wallet, but Montaditos also offers a number of specials on both their food and their drinks.

On Sundays, the restaurant offers two-for-one sandwich platters for $9 and on Fridays two buckets of beer (five per bucket, normally $12 apiece) costs only $15. But, I originally stumbled – not literally, though maybe a little on the way out – into Montaditos on a Wednesday night, when they were offering their weekly “Dollarmania” special. Every montadito was $1, and a $3 mug of beer came with any one of 100 sandwich choices for free.

I should mention that Montaditos only serves one kind of beer. It’s called “Mahou” and it’s nothing special (unless you want it blended with lime soda, called a “Clara,” which is surprisingly refreshing) but for the price, it’ll do to wash down your free sandwich. Also, service can be slow on a busier night, but despite the rush, the staff is friendly and helpful.

Most nights, Montaditos offers beer and wine by the glass for $2, free refills for sodas (also $2), and a few kinds of wine and juice ($2.50), but the house sangria (like the beer, also $3 for a mug, also with a free sandwich on Wednesdays) is a stealthy operator. Watch out, because four or five montaditos will soak up those four or five sangrias and later unleash upon you an experience akin to falling asleep on a train – you’ll wake up in another city with no recollection of how you got there – only this won’t be something you planned.

While it wouldn’t be my first choice for a full lunch – Montaditos is a great place to grab a quick and inexpensive snack and it’s a good jumping off point for a South Miami bar crawl. The $3 sangria or beer with a free sandwich on Wednesdays is a dangerously good deal.

After a few Mahous, I wasn’t sure if I was about to order another sandwich so I could switch from beer to sangria or if I was ordering a sangria so I could try the Philly steak, blue cheese and arugala montadito on the olive bread for a third its normal price.

  • 100 Montaditos
  • 5829 SW 73rd St., South Miami / near Sunset
  • Miami, Fla. 33143
  • Sundays – Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Parking: Metered (sorry, no valet service)
  • Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express
  • Price range: $

Click here to view the menu as a PDF