chef creole is always mentioned in foreigners guides to Miami, foodie TV specials that highlight Miami as a "melting pot" and Best-Of lists, but when you mention it to the staff manning the counter they kind of raise an eyebrow, shrug it off and go back to pitter-pattering around doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I should mention that theres a flat screen TV playing a video of Chef Creole himself on a local news station doing a cooking demonstration on repeat; while I have lunch there on a Saturday afternoon I hear it at least a dozen times but don't really know what it says either.
Chef Creole is a casual Caribbean restaurant, that seems like it caters mostly to a take-out crowd of very legit Haitian locals. The food is familiar: shrimp, beans and rice, plantains, conch, fried pork. It lives up to the hype.
I asked the girl behind the counter what to get and she told me that she's eaten the food there too much so she doesn't like it anymore. She refered me to the guy. He told me the same thing but then suggested the fried shrimp. It's a funny way to get a recommendation, but I'll take what I can get. We (my friend and I - for the record, you can see her in the last picture, we're both pretty average sized girls, with hearty appetites) were offered small, medium and large and decided to go Goldielocks and get the medium. It was so much more than we needed but the butterflied fried shrimp were so light and tasty that we went HAM all over that takeout box and made a pretty good dent in it between the two of us.
My expert opinion? Have it with an orange soda.
All the plates also come with two side sauce containers and those were the real star of the show. When we asked what to do with them - like, is this a dipping sauce that's been provided or are we supposed to drench the rice in it - we got another shrug, so we improvised. Piklis is a spicy, garlicky pickled slaw that comes finely chopped. The other sauce is a spicy tartar sauce that comes in a pink tint. It was kind of like a Cuban meal with the spicy condiments you've always wanted.
When we got in the car, we were very, very happy to have made the sharp U-turn on a whim to get in there and we were very, very sleepy from the carboloading. Luckily, Alaska Coffee is just a short drive away, so I went to indoctrinate my friend into the cult of fresh roasted coffee.
Oh yeah, you should check out the pictures below for a pretty funny picture of DWayde and Chef Creole where Wade is sporting a sideways cap and Band Aid under the eye.
200 nw 54th street
IT'S A TRILLION DEGREES OUTSIDE