Croquetas and beer? Some Miami genius just invented the croqueta bar

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croqueta bar - miamii

UPDATE: We now have an address for the croqueta bar. These are the only two words you need to read to get you through the week: croqueta bar

 

That’s right, Miami. Our city’s beloved finger food — star of all Latin birthday parties and Cuban coffee windows — will be the centerpiece of a new quick-service restaurant and bar set to open in Westchester in April.

Dos Croquetas, a “craft croqueta” delivery service started in 2016 by Alec Fernandez and his caterer aunt Victoria Carballo, will have a permanent home, where they will also sell local craft beer and wine. Fernandez said he signed a lease for a 1,200 square-foot spot at 10505 SW 40th St.

“It’s Miami and croquetas — how could it go wrong?” he said. “The whole point is pairing great fried food with great beer and wine.”

The key to these croquetas are their unique flavor combinations. The 305 Croqueta is stuffed with Cuban style picadillo (ground beef), sweet plantains and queso blanco. It’s paired with a guava aioli. Other options included the Mexican street corn (chargrilled corn, cotija cheese with a chili-lime crema), mac and cheese with bacon, and a buffalo chicken croqueta with ranch dipping sauce.

They even offer dessert croquetas (basically fried cheesecake). One is coated in Cinnamon Toast Crunch and filled with cheesecake, Maria cookies and guava chunks.

Their croquetas have already been featured at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

They expect most of their sales to happen through their ventanita walk-up window (the natural habitat of the croqueta). But Dos Croquetas will have several seats inside and hope to have outside seating, where customers can relax with a beer and their croqueta smorgasbord. It’s the flavors of a high-end croqueta without the high-end setting, Fernandez said.

“We want to bridge the gap between fine dining and the regular ham croqueta you can get at a ventanita,” he said.

Fernandez, 26, a former computer expert and trainer at a local Apple store, approached his aunt who had a thriving catering business about creating an on-demand croqueta delivery service. The two started cooking after hours at a local bakery then moved to a warehouse in Doral, where they offer takeout and delivery through Postmates and Uber Eats.

It was the natural evolution for Miami’s favorite street food, which already has a street named after it, a cake topped with them and a day dedicated to them by the county and the city of Miami.

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Carlos Frías is the James Beard award-winning Miami Herald food editor. He is on Twitter @Carlos_Frias. Miami Herald Food page is on Twitter @MiamiHeraldFood and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MiamiHeraldFood.