Bienvenidos Versailles Cubano Pizza!

It’s a community thing. But who gets the croqueta is each friend for themself!

Are you picking up what we’re putting down?  If it’s a croqueta on your Versailles Cubano Pizza then you have the right idea!  So does Chef Schwartz.

It’s love at first bite as Michael makes Miami’s most iconic sandwich open-faced for a limited time only featuring Versailles house roasted pork and glazed ham, bread and butter pickles, mustard sauce, fontina and gruyère cheeses, and finished with a Versailles croqueta!  From Monday, January 14 until Valentine’s Thursday, February 14, find this pie in the sky collab as a special at all South Florida locations of Harry’s Pizzeria and Genuine Pizza for $16.  It’s the first time this local legend has done a collaborative pizza highlighting one of their specialty menu items, so we are especially honored and excited to have this unique opportunity… and to share it with all of you!

Since 1971 the original Calle Ocho location of Versailles, the world’s most famous Cuban restaurant, has been a cornerstone of the Little Havana neighborhood and a community gathering place for conversation whether over a cafecito or its famous Cuban sandwich, “El Cubano”.   Almost 50 years later, this culinary icon has achieved ubiquitous global recognition as a symbol of Miami’s diverse cultural identity and the unique food traditions that have developed as a result.

Click to watch how it’s made, to the tunes of Palo!

“I’ve been a fan of Versailles since moving to Miami in the early ‘90s and as a chef I have a keen appreciation for the Valls family’s commitment to keeping it simple, doing things right, and bringing the community together,” Michael says. “We love to get creative with topping combinations on our pizzas, and taking this one for a spin is a long time coming! We are so grateful to everyone at Versailles for not only entrusting us with these unique ingredients, but their genuine enthusiasm in having fun with the formula. We think the result tastes pretty great and is something we can all gather around and share – if there’s any left!”

Inspired by this memorable combination hot-pressed inside fluffy, crispy Cuban bread, Chef Schwartz is sourcing the roast pork and glazed ham from the Versailles kitchen to honor the original recipe. With layers of mustard sauce, bread and butter pickles, and the combination of fontina and gruyère cheeses to balance melt and flavor, each pie is also topped with one of its famous, mouthwatering croquetas to break open and enjoy with each slice.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Harry’s Pizzeria and Genuine Pizza on this fun and delicious collaboration,” says Versailles owner Nicole Valls. “Our family is a huge admirer of Chef Schwartz and all he has done for the Miami food scene, and we are excited to have everyone taste this new spin on Miami’s iconic dish.”

Beginning Monday, January 14 through Thursday, February 14, the Versailles Cubano Pizza will be available all day long for $16 during regular business hours for dine in, takeout and delivery at all South Florida locations of the James Beard Award-winner’s casual pizza restaurant, including Miami Design District, Downtown Dadeland, Coconut Grove and Aventura Mall. For the restaurant nearest you visit genuinepizza.com/locations.

With whom would you like to share a Cubano Pizza? Let us know by joining the conversation on social media #genuinecubano and follow along for giveaway news, events and more @chefmschwartz, @harryspizzeria, @genuinepizza and @versaillesmiami.

Culinary Director Brad Herron with Harry’s Pizzeria Design District kitchen manager Homer Perez.  Big thanks to these guys for making test pizzas during a busy lunch service. Getting it done, per usual!

Ya Tu Sabes, But Tasting Table’s Got Everything But the Cuban Sandwich

Agua de melon, sweet and bright watermelon juice with a squeeze of lime. So refreshing!

Agua de melon, sweet and bright watermelon juice with a squeeze of lime. So refreshing!

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.30.59 AM

“I think Miami is one of the most dynamic places to eat in the world.” Click here for Michael’s local picks!

One morning in February began with a sizzling vat of lard and a few cafecitos. Tasting Table had asked Michael to curate a list of local eats, including a trip to Little Havana to explore “everything but the Cuban sandwich” so the only answer was hell yes!   We made a bee line for SW 8th Street, the main east-west thoroughfare to flavor town in two crucial stops, El Mago de las Fritas (est. 1984) and Versailles (est. 1971).  Not only have these two institutions stood the test of time, they’ve done it in small and big ways while still maintaining the original identity they were built on and that made them great to begin with.  There is a palpable sense of place that embraces you the moment you set foot in the door. It’s the passion and dedication of the staff and ownership, combined with the spirit and love that guests have for their restaurants that produces a powerful feeling of belonging and purpose. A winning combination if you ask us.

Visit Tasting Table’s Celebrating Local Eats feature sponsored by Pepcid to check out not only Michael’s recommendations for Miami, including amazing photos shot by our new friend Libby Volgyes, but tips from savvy experts from food to photography in cities including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Houston.  Live like a local and really learn a city. That’s how we like to travel!

Knaus Berry Farm’s Staff Meal and Other Magical Revelations on a Serious Eating Adventure

Michael and Ed sharing a frita moment.

We have Ed Levine to thank for a reason to be tourists in our own town.  As the editor and publisher of James Beard Award-winning Serious Eats, Ed was down from New York City yesterday to consume some last bites of tasty research for his upcoming Serious Eats book, and asked Michael and I to play tour guides.  Based on some direction that touched on breakfast, Cuban sandwiches, and street food, we built a route that took us through the Redland agricultural district of Homestead, as well as Little Havana, the cultural heart of our city along Calle Ocho. It went something like this:

Continue reading