By Linda Bladholm
South Miami-Dade’s Cauley Square, which was designed around a flat-iron building that pioneer farmer William H. Cauley built as a warehouse (later a speakeasy and bordello), is a cluster of about 25 structures housing galleries and small shops. You cant miss the pink and white tea room, opened in 1979, with lace curtains at the windows. Inside resembles a Victorian parlor furnished by a pack rat and has a delightful yesteryear charm.
A little over a year ago, Frances Varela, a native of Honduras, decided to take a hands-on approach to the
tea room. She spiffed it up and hired Mary Quigley, a retired Irish pastry chef who had worked there years ago. Aunt Mary, as she is affectionately known, makes everything from scratch.
There’s always French onion soup with gooey cheese covering a rich broth, crab au gratin, quiche and salads on the menu. On a hot day, the fruit salad with frozen yogurt and banana bread is lovely. Those with dainty appetites will love the platter of finger sandwiches (egg salad, cream cheese, ham salad and chicken salad on white or banana bread layered with butter cream) served with fruit ambrosia.
Tea is available iced in a glass or hot by the cup or pot. Mary’s cakes range from German chocolate to coconut along with apple-cranberry Harvest pie — an old favorite, just like Cauley Square.
Cauley Square Tea Room Restaurant, 12310 SW 224th St, Goulds; 305-258-0044; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues-Sun; soups and salads $2.75-$10.95, sandwiches $8.50-$9.95, entrees $14.95, cake and pie $5.