I have long had a deep interest in Haitian culture and cuisine. I even took a Haitian Creole language course one semester at @fiuinstagram and continue to try and practice Creole whenever and wherever I can.
The first time I had griot - considered Haiti's national of braised pork chunks that are then quickly crisped up in a vat of hot oil - I was in high school. My dad and I finished doing some community service in North Miami and I read about Chez Madame John's in the @miamiherald . I was enchanted by the nuanced flavors and the attention to detail that you wouldn't ever imagine came from such a dump. Haitian culture can be like that - you have to get past the rough exterior, negative publicity, stereotypes, rumors, racism, and other uglies to get to the treasure. But the rewards are great - a vibrant culture, a proud people, and perhaps the most sophisticated and unique cuisine in the Caribbean.
Ever since, it's been my little passion project to explore and promote Haitian cuisine in South Florida. I haven't explored much outside of Miami-Dade except for @chezkatu (which actually started in Miami), and I used to think I needed to go into Miami for good Haitian food (even though Palm Beach seems to have 🔥 Haitian restaurants that are pretty classy).
Well that all changed with this plate of griot - the best I have ever had anywhere. I got a new part time job on the weekends at @leatherwerks which is right in the middle of a Haitian neighborhood. I had noticed this restaurant called @pimancafe in the area, and it is walking distance from my new job, so one Sunday I stopped in for lunch. The griot took about 30 minutes to prepare along with bannann peze (somewhat like tostones but not quite). It was worth the wait. The banter made me chuckle. The staff was sassy but attentive (unless you are being rude). The griot was crisp and tender and featured a good mix of lean pieces, marbled pieces, and fatty pieces that I smeared over the bannann and topped with the spicy vinegared onions and peppers (most Haitian restos just scatter raw veggies on top). The pikliz were unique and had complexity. I found out that they use a combination of vinegar and lime juice!