By: Toussaint Campbell
Taty Griot Express Restaurant
7108 Pembroke Rd, Miramar, FL 33023
Diners usually stop by for a taste of Taty’s Griot (pork), Legume (stew vegetables with meat) and red snapper fish. According to the manager Marie Gustave, “Love Is What Makes Our Food Authentic. Every Meal Is Cooked With Love And Passion.” and the food is made with fresh ingredients such as basil, parsley, lemon and peppers.
Taty’s also shares Haitian culture with its diners through the decorations placed around the restaurant, “our food, drinks and decoration all show the love we have for our culture.” said Gustave “even when our country suffers we still push the beauty Haiti holds.
There is also something special about Taty’s, all the decorations come directly from Haiti “we have paintings on the wall that show the beauty of Haiti.” They also sell Haitian sandals, bags and flags.
Kasa Champet Restaurant and Lounge
7920 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
Originally known as Campestre, Kasa Champet is a Caribbean restaurant that has made it’s home in South Florida in 2013.
Their specialty is the Fish with Legume, it comes with a mixture of cabbage, eggplant, conch, crab and shrimp. Manager and co-founder Gerline Brutus says “We’re the only one that does it, the customers love it and it’s always good.”
Brutus said the food is always good because “we make the food like it’s in our own kitchen, we take our time so that it tastes homemade”.
Kasa Champet shares Haitian culture through its live entertainment “when you come with your family you can hear live konpa, troubadou and jazz while you eat” said Brutus and “we always have something cultural like poetry and music”. Kasa Champet is more than a restaurant they’re also a place where you can be entertained.
Nani’s Haitian Cuisine
1940 N 30th Rd #241, Hollywood, FL 33021
Daniella Normil and Gaston Rodriguez are the co-owners of Nani’s Haitian Cuisine and they’re on a mission to bring awareness to Haitian patties. Normil said, “we want to share Haitian culture through the food”, but they also make it exciting.
In addition to the normal flavors such as fish and beef, they also have more creative flavors like shrimp, spinach and cheese, squash, cheese, and mushroom and spinach. So yes, they are vegan and vegetarian-friendly..
Normil and Rodriguez want everyone to enjoy Haitian patties and their location in a farmers market brings a lot of different people to their restaurant, especially those who are open to trying new things.
Their most popular items are the beef patty with pickliz and vegans and vegetarians love the spinach and cheese. Normil says they always sell out. So if you want to try them come early because they are only on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m to 4 p.m.
Their food is authentic because they make everything from scratch “ I make the dough from scratch and the seasoning from scratch” said Normil “we try to make it as natural and healthy as possible, everything is made and sold on the same day and there are no GMOs or preservatives”.
You’ll recognize their restaurant when you hear the konpa playing and see their colorful artwork, which comes from Haitian artists in Haiti.
200 NW 54th St, Miami, FL 33127
If you venture to Little Haiti you’ll find Chef Creole where Wilkison “Ken” Sejour prepares traditional Haitian dishes infused with tastes from across the Caribbean. Ken, the owner is Bahamian and his parents are Haitian, so he creates food with a mix of both cultures.
The most popular items are the griot, fried shrimp and chicken with creole sauce.
According to Ken’s publicist Jimmy Nickerson “Chef calls himself a scientist, not necessarily a chef”. He’s created his own special blend of herbs, sauces and marinades that no one else has and this makes his food unique.
There are five locations including one opening in MIX next month. At the 54th St. location there is a unique tiki hut setup with caribbean music playing to entertain the guests and there is chef creole park where people may rent the area for events. Recently they held DJ Fest where the number one and number 2 DJ’s from Haiti performed their sets. They partner with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote Haitian culture using Chef Creole as one of the faces for their campaign.
Naomi’s Garden Restaurant and Lounge
650 NW 71st St, Miami, FL 33150
Naomi’s Garden Restaurant and Lounge have been a mostly Haitian restaurant for about 35 years. This family-run business started out by community demand, it was originally a health-food wholesale store until the community said “you’ve got a lot of haitian employees and you’re cooking food so can you cook for us” said Noam Yemini, who currently runs the restaurant with his family.
Yemini’s parent’s opened their first takeout window in the 80’s and it’s been successful for approximately 35 years. Yemini said “a lot of our customers come daily or three to four times a week, like a family, “we say hey how are your family and kids?” and “a lot of times we see customers and already know their order”.
Yemini and family are working on a 6,500 square-foot garden seating area for customers to sit and enjoy their food instead of just getting takeout.
Yemini finds Haitian food to be one of the best in the Caribbean and he wants to make it well known so that he can share Haitian food with other cultures. “we started making vegan options like curry and legume and it’s been well received by our customers and the Haitian community.” said Yemini.
However, even though they are a Haitian restaurant, there is one item that surprisingly isn’t on the menu, “we don’t serve any pork, even griot because there is a large portion of the community that is Seventh Day Adventist” said Yemini “if many of those people go to a restaurant and see that pork is served they won’t eat there”.