Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Migdalia's


Jason Perlow
 Share

Recommended Posts

This evening, Rachel and I went to the much larger, new location of Migdalia's, just down the block from its original location. Open now for about two months, it occupies the spot of a former pool hall.

gallery_2_0_8905.jpg

Main counter area

gallery_2_0_83316.jpg

Migdalia preparing a takeout order

gallery_2_0_13918.jpg

Cuban "Refrescos" (click) -- Materva, a Yerba Mate flavor soda and Jupiña, a pineapple flavor. The Malta is a non alcoholic malt drink.

gallery_2_0_66568.jpg

Sopa de Pollo. Cuban chicken soup, with potatoes, yucca, and egg noodles. Starchy but it works, and oh so good.

gallery_2_0_39671.jpg

gallery_2_0_27731.jpg

Empanadillas, and Croquetas de Jamon (Ham croquettes).

gallery_2_0_50536.jpg

Empanadillas cut open. These are a MUST order.

gallery_2_0_39766.jpg

These are Puerto Rican style "Pasteles" which are similar to pork tamales, but they are stuffed in ground plantains as opposed to corn masa.

gallery_2_0_91144.jpg

One of the best ropa viejas ever. A braised beef dish, which is eaten over rice.

gallery_2_0_54784.jpg

Tostones (fried plantains)

gallery_2_0_33924.jpg

Sandwich Cubano. Probably one of the best I have ever had. Came out piping hot and the cheese was melted and all gooey.

gallery_2_0_7650.jpg

Pudin de Pan de Amor. Bread pudding made from the leftover Sandwich Cubano rolls. Outstanding.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the pictures out of the way, I will say this -- Migdalia's is serving outstanding Cuban food, entirely worthy of the top Cuban restaurants in Miami's Calle Ocho district. However, they frequently run out of stuff, so you basically have to order whatever they have avaliable -- don't get your heart set on ordering a particular dish. Everything is fantastic, so its not like you have to settle for something that is not as good. They also don't quite have the service situation sorted out, its a bit scatterbrained.

Migdalia also makes a mean Cafe Cubano -- the Miami version of a double espresso. She's using Lavazza instead of the standard Bustelo or Pilon they use in Miami, mainly because she feels it is better quality coffee and the people up here are a lot more discerning, I would tend to agree.

Midgalia's is BYOB. If you got the components for a Mojito -- White rum, Mint Leaves, Fresh Limes -- Migdalia will fix one up for you.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you got the components for a Mojito -- White rum, Mint Leaves, Fresh Limes -- Migdalia will fix one up for you.

That's funny...if you give ME the components, I'll make one for you too! :laugh:

Seriously, though--thanks for the report, Jason! This is going on the list... can you give us the address? And would you care to make a comparison to La Isla in Hoboken? Thanks!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, they frequently run out of stuff, so you basically have to order whatever they have avaliable -- don't get your heart set on ordering a particular dish.

That's what frustrated me about the old location. That, and never being able to get a table. But I'm glad to see that she is doing well enough to get a bigger space (1st 'woo-hoo'). I always found her to be genuinely nice and a great ambassador for her culture, so I'll have to venture over there soon.

And I shouldn't do it, but... I've already got my heart set on those pasteles- 2nd 'woo-hoo' (my experience with them is that I could only get them at certain times of the year. I have an aunt who would make them as part of a church community event because the recipe calls for making so many of them at once.)

That cubano looks like they've gotten better at making them (I think the last one I had there, about 2 years ago, may have been rushed- which may have been brought on by all the take-out folks crowding the counter). I'm psyched!

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you got the components for a Mojito -- White rum, Mint Leaves, Fresh Limes -- Migdalia will fix one up for you.

That's funny...if you give ME the components, I'll make one for you too! :laugh:

Seriously, though--thanks for the report, Jason! This is going on the list... can you give us the address? And would you care to make a comparison to La Isla in Hoboken? Thanks!

I haven't yet been to La Isla so I can't say.

address... I knew I forgot something.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for the report, Jason!  This is going on the list... can you give us the address?

address... I knew I forgot something.

I guess that was my cue. The previous address for Migdalia's Cuban Cafe is still what is listed on yp.yahoo. Phone is (201) 387-8700. I tried calling, I guess too early, but a fax answered. So, looking at the map (because I know the area, doesn't mean I know the actual street names!), I see it is on the corner of Bedford Ave and Portland Ave in Bergenfield. It is right next to Chez Dominique, at 4 Bedford, but it's not like you can miss it, there's a big green sign right next to the parking lot on the south-east corner of the intersection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

However, they frequently run out of stuff, so you basically have to order whatever they have avaliable -- don't get your heart set on ordering a particular dish.

That's what frustrated me about the old location. That, and never being able to get a table.

My quote from last night: "It's exactly like the old crazy Migdalia's. You never know what they are going to have available, but the food is still great." And, with more than five times the seating, you are much more likely to be able to get a table. Last night, we arrived around 8, and the place was about half-filled. [rant] But they had also run out of beans. Frijoles, I tell you! Black or Red! The leftovers can be reheated the next day! Make More![/rant] They said Saturday night is their busiest night, and if you have your heart set on a particular dish get there early. However, we usually went to the old Migdalia's (which was a tiny corner take-out with 3 tables) early enough, and only half the menu would be available, so who knows?

Just to reiterate though, we are highly recommending this place for the food. I'm sure the service issues will someday, with enough popularity (i.e. more of a guarantee that she won't have to throw out unordered food), be worked out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what is the new address?????? Do I make a left on Bedford from S Washington to get there?

ADDED: nevermind I called and she told me 8 Bedford avenue

I'm going tonight and then on to 90 Below Wine and Cigar bar in Englewood afterward for cocktails and cigars

Edited by richl2214 (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I told you, the corner of Bedford and Portland Aves. You cannot make a left onto Bedford from Washington, it's one-way towards Washington. Turn at Clinton, make a right onto Portland and it is the second intersection (or turn at RiverEdge, it depends which direction you are heading on Washington), look for the big green sign Migdalia's sign on the Portland side of the building. Park in the lot to your right or on the street. But good to know the actual address too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I originally blew through the post and missed your description of the new location. My bad. Thanks for the info. Can't wait to get there!

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got there around 8:30pm. Sat immediately since place was maybe half full at best. We ordered empanadillas, Croquettes and Cuban Sandwiches. The Beans were sold out. LOL! How can a "Cuban" place run out of beans? Anyway the service was abismal. We didn't even get asked for drinks before the waitress ran off. I had to get up twice to get my own drinks fromthe fridge in the front. Italso took forever for the waitress to bring our check. She seemed more focused on cleaning ther place up thn worrying about customers. When ordering she actually just walked away in the middle of our order. I had physically go back up to the front to place the rest of our food orders.

On to the food. I'd have to say the empanadillas were the best of the meal. Not too greasy and very crunchy. We ordered the beef filled. The ham croquettes were greasy and just "ok". The sandwich Cubano was good but overall I felt it paled in comparison to La Isla or even Zafra, which I fell out of favor with. The bread was tasteless and the pork inside was dry. All in all I'd say that they definitely need better service. I do think if I travel out that way for Cuban food I'd would choose Azucar in Edgewater head and shoulders above Migdalia's. Although Azucar is much more expensive their food has life and soul which I though this place lacked. Migdalia's would make my list as a decent takeout place if I lived in the immediate area.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, I think their Cuban sandwiches are by far some of the best I have had in the area, and I have had a number in Miami to make that comparison. I guess it totally depends on the night.

There is no question the service is just plain atrocious at this point, however.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I shouldn't do it, but... I've already got my heart set on those pasteles- 2nd 'woo-hoo' (my experience with them is that I could only get them at certain times of the year. I have an aunt who would make them as part of a church community event because the recipe calls for making so many of them at once.)

Just an FYI - I was in Costco (E. Hanover) this past weekend and noticed that they now stock frozen Pasteles. I didn't pick any up this time, but maybe the next time I'll give them a try. However, I'm sure they do not taste as good as the ones in the photo above (all that food looks delicious - and has succeeded in making me hungry!)

Jason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Tuesday : June 21, 2005 dinner 6:00 PM

Last night (Tuesday) I joined three co workers for dinner at Migdalia's -- arriving just before 6:00 pm we were either too early, too late, or dinner is just not there thing!

We were greated promptly and warmly -- ushered to a table in full view of the television which was airing the news in Spanish. We were offered soda and told our option was coke and diet coke. The sodas arrived quickly, the cans were ice cold and served with a small bowl of lime!

THe menu, limited, was attractive, HOWEVER, our waiter explained, "We only have today, beef cubes and chickenn" he added we would have our choice of red / black beans, and a choice of white / yellow rice -- we ordered 2 chicken and one beef and varried the options of rice and beans.

The meal arrived almost instantly, the chicken, clearly not wanting to liberate itself from the bone was smotehred in an orange shade greece like substance, my yellow rice, tasty and clumpy was saddled next to a small cup of black beans, just under a count of ten ... a chicken dish with red beans and white rice had 8 beans (we counted) and the beef dish, cubes of iron came with white rice and red beans and the bean count was nine, like mine!

The dishes were less then luke warm, the slice of cucmber and transparent tomato were perfectly chilled.

Our waiter, preoccupied with the news (there were no other patrons during our nine minute meal) appeared to be earnest when he did return asking, "you did not like?" we showed him the tough animal products left on the plate (we all devoured our rice and beans) and kindly asked for the check. He offered, " I am sorry you did not like, you come back again and try"

I don't think we will be returning, dinner, soda and 20 % tip was $15.00

"When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking."

- Elaine Boosler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes! We were there last week for a late lunch/early dinner (around 4 PM on Wednesday). The dining room was empty, as would be expected at that hour. But, our waitress, surprisingly, said the full menu was available (that's never been the case any other time I'd been there). I had the chicken fricasee (I usually have the ropa vieja, and wanted something else), while Jason had his usual Cubano. We also had some empanadillas and maduros, coffee and bread pudding (pudin de pan). All the food was up to par, including the rice & black beans.

Also, they have more sodas than Coke or Diet Coke. She brings a glass of ice to your table, and you can go directly to the case up front to choose your beverage. It is possible that your server's limited English restricted what they offered you. Also, Jason's Cuban-accented Spanish might influence our service.

Frankly, I don't know what their busy time is. We have been there for dinner when the restaurant is about half-full. I would think it might be more fully occupied on Friday & Saturday, especially later in the evening, with Cuban ex-pats. However, at that hour, they are more likely to not have everything on the menu. I hope she can survive in her larger location, the small takeout place was always jammed, with four always-occupied tables as well as people waiting for their take out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have yet to go back after my experience.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

We went to Migdalias's tonight, and had a similarly perplexing experience. I walked in about 8 PM (there were abut 3 tables filled) and stood at the front entryway waiting for some acknowledgement from the staff. I made eye contact with both a waiter and an older gentleman behind the cash register (engaged in conversation), neither of whom made any effort to greet/seat me. I walked out to find my wife who was on a cell phone call and told her that they had 1 minute after we walked back in, or we were gone. Upon reentry, Migdalia walked from behind the counter and told us to sit anywhere.

I should have listened more carefully to the previous posts about not wanting anything specific on the menu. We were hoping to have the pernil and the Cuban Sandwich, and they were out of both! The pork I could understand (although this is a daily item, supposedly) but how does a Cuban restaurant run out of a Cuban sandwich?!

We would up having the steak (flat, not bad, tender but a little liver-ish tasting) and the "banana boat"--either a banana or plantain stuffed with a mildly seasoned ground beef preparation--moderately enjoyable. Appetizers were three empanadillas--cheese, chicken and beef that were OK. Cafe con leche was excellent, and probably the highpoint of the meal.

The waitstaff has to become better trained. Example 1--we ordered the 3 empanadillas to share. The three came out on one plate placed in front of me, and my wife was given an empty plate. A proper serving, even in an informal restaurant, would be a middle plate, with empty plates placed in front of those sharing. Example 2--after ringing up the credit card and bringing the bill to our table, the waitress (who was friendly enough) stood over my shoulder while I was figuring out the tip--a little unnerving.

Also, someone has got to lower the volume of the sound system--there is a jukebox with latino songs, but the volume literally made us jump out of our seats. It was so loud that the we couldn't hear the waitress at times.

I do like a good Cuban sandwich, however, and I will probably try this restaurant at lunch for both the pork and the sandwich. But my wife said that one visit here was enough for her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

We went here for lunch today and overall would say the food is ok, somewhat salty and perhaps lacking onions and garlic. The waitress as mentioned above, did look over our shoulders too when completing the tip.

white rice, black beans, plantains, empanadas where all good, nothing outstanding

* shrimp in garlic was plentyful but very salty

* the shredded pork was tender but bland

cuban coffee was excellent

the flan was a tasty but a very very firm texture, not custard based like you would expect.

Not cheap for lunch....

Mundo Latino in North Bergen or Sazon in Ridgewood (peruvian, cuban) is more interesting

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...