Mamajuana Again

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mamajuana Cafe, in Coral Gables, formerly the site of restaurant Chispa, is regularly holding special promotions with free drinks and appetizers to raise awareness and sales. To be included in the email blasts for this restaurant and other similar promotions, send an email to bpmedia@bpmediapartners.

This was my second visit to the restaurant motivated by an email promotion. While the first promotion left customers little to sample, I fared better than most by grabbing the attention of the assistant manager. We scored an entire pizza. [Just a little hint if you have the same problem at any restaurant that promotes gratuitous samples . Click here to read my first review and assessment of restaurant's promotion].

On a Wednesday evening my friend Lisa and I went for an evening of sangria and tapas. Aaah nostalgic memories of college days and vacations in Spain set my spirits and expectations high.

The sangria was old-school recipe. A perfect blend of sweet fruit with a touch of wine, not overpowering. Just the way I like it to savor the fruit.

Famished and past the 8pm curfew for free tapas, Lisa and I ordered from the appetizers menu.

Recalling the delectable pizza from my first visit, we ordered the pizza with thin slices of chorizo. In quizzing the bartender (sangria affected my memory) I asked if this was the pizza with truffle oil. His blank stare back did not help. (Later in reviewing my previous notes, this was pizza with the secret ingredient of "truffle oil" a selling point on my opinion). The sweet onions were the sweet burst of surprise after every bite. I love pleasant surprises.

For exploratory and adventuresome purposes, we ordered the coconut and avocado encrusted shrimp with dipping sauce. DIVINE!

Unfortunately the menu online is out of date and does not include this Shrimp appetizer.

The crowd was small but expected for a Wednesday evening. The downside: a three person band played can't-talk-to-your-friends dance club noise level. Our evening was cut short as neither of our maturing ear drums could tolerate the loud music. It seemed to clash with the decor and setting of the restaurant--old Spanish colonial with historic Indian artwork. While I enjoy a rhythmic Salsa and can emblazon a pattern with my dancing heels, I believe music at a restaurant should enliven not overpower the experience.

My advice, go early unless you exalt loud music and want to dance off those calories!

Mamajuana Cafe
225 Altara Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 443-0505

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