Leave it to Miami to name a street in honor of croquetas.
Residents in the western Miami-Dade county suburbs already know that the corner of Southwest 137th Avenue and 26th Street is the home of some of Miami’s best croquetas, Islas Canarias Cuban restaurant. On Friday, the Miami-Dade commission made sure everyone else knew about it, too.
The commission presented the restaurant’s owners, Nancy Andrade and her husband, Luis, with a proclamation and a new street sign designating the corner her late parents made famous as Islas Canarias Way. The corner had been previously designated in 2016 but commissioner Joe Martinez led the effort to erect a more visible sign and hold a streetside ceremony.
It was a welcome surprise, Andrade said, on what turned out to be her 61st birthday.
“It’s such an honor and a blessing to be able to do what you love,” Andrade said. “Ours is a story of a lot of work but also a lot of love.”
The restaurant, which was initially founded in Little Havana in 1977, has been on this corner for 31 years, since 1987. It remains a standby for what are arguably Miami’s best croquetas. And it’s a living monument to Raul and Amelia Garcia, who founded the restaurant and passed it down to Andrade and her husband.
The family has continued in the restaurant tradition. Andrade’s daughter, Elieen, founded the restaurants Finka and Amelia’s 1931 within a few blocks of Islas Canarias. And son Jonathan runs the restaurant’s production of croquetas, which are sold to other restaurants and bakeries.