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Molina’s Ranch Restaurant

Cuban  in  Hialeah
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Molina’s Ranch is as formal as a Cuban restaurant can get in Hialeah. Probably the most famous place in the neighborhood besides the Hialeah Racetrack, this family-run restaurant has been an institution since 1982 and has hosted Willy Chirino, Celia Cruz, and, for some reason, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The reason for all this fame? The food. The menu covers all the Cuban classics and then some, taking pride in doing most things in house. This is evident in their ham croquetas, which are fried fresh and have a paper-thin crispy crust. I grew up eating their chicken soup and it remains my local favorite. The broth comes loaded with chicken, carrots, and noodles, and feels like a big warm hug from your Tia. And although rice can sometimes be an afterthought, they make an arroz moro here that will have you ordering seconds. It’s salty, savory rice speckled with black beans and topped with crunchy chicharrons. For dessert, get the crema catalana. The custard is rich and it has a thick burnt sugar crust. And even if you get way too full here, you’ll walk out the door saying, “I’ll be back” in your best Arnold impression.

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