Just Did It: Un Timbiriche

I said yes to my mom’s invitation to a “timbiriche” without knowing what it was.  The one thing I knew was that the word itself sounded fun…and it involved wine.  It turns out, lots of it.

To set the scene, it’s two on a Saturday afternoon in Miami’s famous Calle Ocho.  We pull into the “Happy Wine” backside parking lot and walk through an unassuming door to find boxes, barrels, crates and bottles of wine piled sky high.  It was a beautiful mess.  You make your way through the wine maze to find that there are makeshift high tables and stools filled with revelers, and, where there aren’t any, people are sitting on said boxes, barrels and crates sipping wine and chatting up friends.

It’s stuffy, it’s dark and it’s a trip.

We find my parents’ Merry Prankster friends who have carefully guarded or seats, pick a bottle of Robert Mondavi from the aisle and commence the festivities.  The hurried and somewhat disinterested waiter brings the best pan con tortilla I’ve ever tried, along with olives and manchego cheese.  

Fortunately, the waiter was the only hurried and disinterested part.  People come here to while the day away, eating, drinking, chatting and singing.  The super-talented, guayabera-wearing, roving Cuban guitarists help with that last part.  They play hits that get the crowd going and take requests freely and with a big and welcoming smile.  I was out of the loop on most of those hits (no one else seemed to be), except for the sing-along masterpiece El Rey and Guantanamera, performed here by the great Celia Cruz.

Four bottles and lots of food later, our bill comes to a meager $99 (including tip) for seven people and we emerge into the bright Miami sunlight.  Stop by Happy Wine next time you’re in South Florida.
Oh yeah, and “timbiriche” is Cuban slang for many things, including a no frills establishment like this one.  Lesson learned.

Posted by: Mariela

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