Versailles Restaurant
Versailles Restaurant cafeteria, restaurant, and bakery, is a landmark eating establishment located on Calle Ocho (8th St
Tamiami Trail
The Tamiami Trail is the southernmost of U.S. Highway 41 from State Road 60 in Tampa to U.S. Route 1 in Miami. The road also has the hidden designation of State Road 90....

) in Little Havana
Little Havana
Little Havana is a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, United States. Home to many Cuban immigrant residents, Little Havana is named after Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba. The approximate boundaries are the Miami River , SW 16th Street , SR 9/West 27th Avenue and I-95...

, Miami. The large restaurant seats 370 people and has ornate etched glass and statuettes and features a bakery, a takeout area, a counter window and the ability to host banquets and parties. Founded by Felipe Valls, Sr. in 1971, Versailles is a popular restaurant among local Cuban exiles and tourists for its Cuban cuisine and connection to anti-Castro politics.

Gastronomical significance

Versailles is a popular place place for Cuban food and social gathering in Miami, serving "cafecito
Espresso is a concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee. Espresso is widely known throughout the world....

", "cortadito
A cortado is an espresso "cut" with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The ratio of milk to coffee is between 1:1 - 1:2, and the milk is added after the espresso...

", Cuban pastries (beef or guava), and "croquetas" at a walk-up window.

In its main dining room, the restaurant also serves dishes including Moros, palomilla steaks (Cuban minute steak), maduros, tasajo, croquetas de yuca, tamal en cazuela, and milanesa. There is an adjacent bakery, a take-out counter, and ample meeting space.

Political significance

For decades, Versailles has been ground zero for the Cuban-American exile community in South Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. The restaurant has been a gathering point for anti-Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 protesters and the press wanting to cover their opinions.

During Fidel Castro's hospitalization in August 2006, the news media set up a small tent city outside the restaurant in case news would break from the location. Cuban-American politicians, including those from out-of-state like New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez
Robert Menendez
Robert "Bob" Menendez is the junior United States Senator from New Jersey and a member of the Democratic Party. In January 2006, he was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jon Corzine, who resigned upon being elected Governor of New Jersey. Menendez was elected to his own full...

, often hold fundraisers and rallies at the restaurant.

External links

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