Chow: CHEEN-huaye, Authentic Southern Mexican Food


A friend introduced me to this casual, Southern Mexican Cuisine restaurant on Biscayne Blvd. and 154th St., a while back. I was very pleasantly surprised. A Mexican-American top-notch, local chef eats there all the time and confided, “I know good food and I know good Mexican authentic food and this place serves delicious, traditional, south of the border food, which is rare in Miami. It’s not your typical Taco Bell sampler. It’s real and tasty, the way they make it in Southern Mexico.”

The place has been open for just over 6 years and is Zagat rated. About 8 months ago, the space next door was available and quickly became an additional part of the restaurant which now easily seats over 60 people inside and 16 outside.

On the extensive menu, tacos, cocina Mexicana, especialilidades de la casa, (specialities of the house), antojitos (cravings), fajitas, ceviches, a lunch menu that is quick and healthy and can include salads, soups, sides and extras. After you get seated ask to taste their nachos and salsa piquante. Enjoy the home-made nachos and spicy, chunky dipping sauce while you look over the numerous menu items.

The Pescado ceviche (fish ceviche), is tangy and delightful. The fresh fish is marinated in lime juice mixed with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, avocado and mango and for $12, is copious and refreshing.

Tostones rellenos is served on crispy toasted bread spread with fried beans, melted cheese, guacamole, Pico de gallo and Mexican cream, $8.95. For an extra $1 they will add shredded chicken or grilled steak on the tostones. Their Carnitas dish is prepared with tender pork, marinated overnight in an authentic recipe and includes traditional spices and highlighted with a zest of Florida oranges. The mixture is cooked very slowly in order to bring out all the flavors of the meat. It’s served with lettuce, fresh cilantro and onions and comes with corn tortillas for $14.

Sides and extras include rice, beans, plantains, cheese, guacamole and Habanero. Prices are very reasonable and the environment is simple and charming. They offer a number of beers that are Mexican staples. Service is quick, informative and always involves a smile. The food is muy fresco and muy bueno.

Cheen-huaye is located at 15400 Biscayne Blvd., #118, North Miami, 33160. Details: 305-956-2808 or their web here.

About Marguerite Gil

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