3 stars for a taste of Nicaragua at La Hormiga in Pembroke Pines

For more than a decade, La Hormiga de Oro has been a staple for authentic Nicaraguan fare in Miami-Dade County, but you can also get a taste of the restaurant’s Central American cuisine in Pembroke Pines. Tucked into a suburban shopping plaza, the casual spot offers owner Francis Gonzalez’s inexpensive dishes. It’s a taste of home to many patrons, who stop by for an early morning breakfast of scrambled eggs with chorizo, fried cheese, rice and beans and tortillas. At the end the day, they’re here for hearty meals like shrimp in garlic sauce and with Nicaragua’s famed tres leches for dessert.

There are also daily specials, along with an extensive menu that will introduce newcomers to the hearty cuisine of Nicaragua, which has its roots in indigenous, Spanish and Creole cultures. Aside from the good, homey food, it would be tough to find a better value than a meal at praiseworthy La Hormiga de Oro (“The Gold Ant”).

What Worked

  • A large $6 char-broiled steak with a choice of two sides
  • Baho — brisket, yuca and ripe and green plantains wrapped in banana leaves and steamed (served on Saturdays)
  • Sopa mondongo, made with slow-cooked, diced tripe and vegetables (served on Sundays)
  • A tasty, typical dish of vigoron –  a bed of boiled cassava and fried pork rinds topped with cabbage salad
  • Repocheta, a Nica-style quesadilla, made with thick corn tortillas, cabbage salad and crema
  • Taco appetizer –  rolled up & fried chicken or beef served with cabbage salad and small portions of refried beans, guacamole, kicky pico de gallo and crema
  • Tender & flavorful carne asada seasoned with chimichurri and the juice of sour oranges (pictured)
  • Creamy potato salad
  • Good, though a  bit chewy, fried, breaded steak
  • Chunks of chicken in a sweet-sour sauce 
  • Indio Viejo (“Old Indian”) – a creamy dish of corn meal with shredded meat and onions (served on Fridays)
  • Luscious flan
  • Fragrant rice pudding
  • Classic buñuelos en miel (a fried yuca fritter)


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