Rey Bermudez and his wife Poli Bermudez started the business some 30 years ago. The couple divorced, leaving Poli and her son, Rey Bermudez, Jr. with the original Palace of Juices and the newer location on S.W. 8th Street on the far western edge of Miami. Rey senior kept the location on Miller Road and 102nd.
For nearly a dozen years, these three locations shared a philosophy and a name. However, a recent agreement between Rey Bermudez, Jr. and Miami restaurateur, Felipe Valls who owns both the Versailles restaurant and the La Carreta chain, has forced a name change for the Miller Road location.
The former Cuatro Ruedas restaurant, which for a short time was a La Carreta, is now a Palace of Juices.
Rey senior's Miller road location "Segundo Palacios de los Jugos" has now become "La Juguera Tropical." Rest assured that although the name has changed, everything else remains the same!
Glenn Lindgren: The first time I came to Florida I expected to find fresh squeezed orange juice flowing from every tap and fountain in the state. As soon as we hopped into our rental car, we started our search for the delicious golden beverage. We stopped at several grocery stores and I was amazed that not one of them sold fresh squeezed orange juice. The refrigerator shelves were stocked with the same reconstituted orange juice I was so sick of drinking in Minnesota. It just didn't make any sense that in the land of the orange there wasn't a drop of fresh juice to be had.
Jorge Castillo: There are several orange groves in the state where you can stop and pick up a gallon or two of delicious juice.
Glenn Lindgren: But it still baffles me why when there is so much fresh juice available in Florida, most people just drink the reconstituted brands available in the supermarket.
Raúl Musibay: Hey, you don't have to look very hard to find orange juice in Miami!
Glenn Lindgren: We have a couple of favorite places in Miami for fresh squeezed juices.
Jorge Castillo: At the Palacio de los Jugos (Palace of Juices) they squeeze it to order right in front of your eyes.
Glenn Lindgren: The juice is always fresh and very sweet at this funky little restaurant/market.
Many visitors to Miami know little about Cuban cuisine; most frequently believing that Cuban food is not far removed from the Tex-Mex cooking they enjoy back home, and then disappointed to find nary a taco or burrito on the menu.
Here at the Palace you can learn everything you need to know about Cuban food in just one place, the heart and soul of Cuban cooking at a simple, neighborhood fruit and vegetable market.
At the Palace of Juices in Westchester, on this sunny Sunday, old and young alike are sipping on tiny cups of hot café cubano and discussing the day's events outside at the walk-up window. Just inside the front door, the locals are ordering freshly squeezed juices: orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and guanábana, a delicious tropical fruit with a light pineapple-citrus flavor, or mamey, a sweet fruit with flavor elements of peach, apricot, raspberry, and pumpkin. Whether by the glass or in quarts and half gallons, the juice is always flowing freely here. The orange juice machine in particular never seems to stop as orange after orange drops mechanically down into the squeezing chamber.
The sandwich maker is flying high today with a dozen orders for the classic Cuban and its equally popular cousins: pan con lechón, a sumptuous sandwich of tender roasted pork and pan con bistec, a thin slice of beefsteak served on Cuban bread with onions and a layer of crisp shoestring potatoes still hot from the fryer.
Another treat lies waiting right next to the cash register, a huge steaming caldron of freshly made Cuban tamales. If you think "hot tamales," you have the wrong country. Cuban cuisine combines the flavors of Spain, the tropical fruits and vegetables of the Caribbean, and a strong African influence.
A young Cubanita behind the front counter is feeding juicy stalks of sugar cane into the side of a gleaming stainless steel cabinet. A carafe captures a steady stream of fresh sugar cane juice as the machine rumbles and grinds the cane into a woody pulp.
The juice, called guarapo, is a favorite Cuban drink on a hot summer day. Extremely refreshing with a light flavor, guarapo is not overly sweet as many people presume. In fact, it has a sugar content that makes it just slightly sweeter than orange juice. Some people even swear by guarapo as a potent aphrodisiac!
You will also find fufú de plátano, a tasty mashed plantain dish spiked with pork pieces and rich with garlic flavor. Pick up a bag of mariquitas, thinly sliced plantain deep-fried into crispy chips. They taste great dipped in mariquitas sauce, rich with the flavor of garlic, citrus, and olive oil.
It may have just dawned on you, but you have just spent a lot of time shopping at the Palace of Juices and you have not picked up a single piece of fruit! There are displays of tropical fruits in various stages of ripeness in large bins that line one wall. Make your selection from an array of fruit that includes everything from finger-sized niño bananas, to ripe juicy mangos, and tangy guavas. Today, many people are bagging up a selection of fruit to take home.
Pay for your purchases at the register, pick out a spot at a table outside, and enjoy one of the best simple pleasures of living in Miami: great food, friendly people, and a lazy Sunday afternoon.
HOURS: Daily 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
ATMOSPHERE: Very casual
HOURS: Daily 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
ATMOSPHERE: Very casual
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