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A Taste of Haiti in Miami

By Andrea Bediako

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A group of girlfriends and I were desperate to escape the extended D.C. winter, so we decided to take a weekend trip to Miami to enjoy some sun, warm breezes and get a preview of what spring would eventually bring.  For our first dinner in town, we decided to explore the cuisine of the large Haitian community who live in the area and visited Tap Tap, a Haitian restaurant in the Miami Beach. I first learned about this restaurant while watching an episode of Samantha Brown’s Great Weekends and made a promise to myself that if I ever visited Miami, I would have a meal there.

Tap Tap 4

At the restaurant, I learned that “tap tap” refers to the brightly colored buses used for local transportation for people living in Haiti. This reminded me of the “tro tro” a much less fancy bus that I have taken many times when I visited Ghana in West Africa. I wondered if there was a connection through the African Diaspora between the two names.

Entering Tap Tap was like walking into someone’s home. There were different rooms with brightly colored walls that were adorned with beautiful, vibrant artwork depicting scenes from daily life in Haiti. Once we sat down and reviewed the menu offering a variety of seafood, chicken and meat options, I opted for kribish kokoye, a shrimp coconut sauce dish, which came with plantain and rice with beans on the side. The serving size was reasonable, although I would have liked to have had a few more plantain; the food was flavorful and hearty.  I left feeling satisfied and ready to enjoy the Miami nightlife.

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Andrea Bediako

Washington, DC based writer, entrepreneur and world traveler who daydreams of being a dancer, pastry chef and cultural anthropologist.

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