If you’ve ever had lunch at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami — and no one eats more lunch there, usually to-go, than I do! — you have probably #omg’d more than your fair share of times thanks to the sandwich and soup skills of one Manuel “Manny” Sulbaran. We craft a special of each every day at MGFD, and as long as I can remember, it has been Manny’s Midas touch on those babies that has made my tummy grumble at an all-too-early 11:30 a.m. like clockwork. Harry’s Pizzeria may not have sandwiches on its menu, but it has a daily soup special and more importantly a Manny leading the kitchen. His local calabaza with breadcrumbs that kicked the whole shebang off on opening day last week was smooth and velvety, the perfect combination of sweet and savory with a touch of garlicky crunch. One of his best showings ever, and I can’t wait to see what his influence brings to the rest of the menu. Read about his brush with “large-bottomed ant” hot sauce and more below, and let us know what your favorite lunchtime Manny memory is in the comments.
Childhood ambition? being a professional soccer player
First Job: Prep cook in a Mexican restaurant
Your Indulgence? I totally indulge in eating out and music concerts
Your Inspiration? My family
Favorite Food at MGFD: Fish in any way
Wildest food ever eaten: Sun dried crickets (Mexico) & “large-bottomed ant” hot sauce (Amazon)
Favorite Beverage at MGFD: Beer & Homemade sodas
Favorite Kitchen Moment at MGFD: First whole pig that we got in the house!!!!!!!!!
Best Meal You Ever Made: Deep fried tongue (breaded), mango gastrique & green mango-fennel slaw
Proudest Moment: It is hard to say just one, but I am pretty sure that the births of my children are the best one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Biggest Challenge: Being a good father
Perfect Day: With no skin allergies
Ideal spot for your vacation home: The Venezuelan Andean
My life: learning cycle