Updated: Mar 29, 2021
9836 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33165
Are you a sucker for visual stimuli? So am I. I am one of those people that will come across a cool food video on Facebook or Twitter and get the craving to try it out if I am within a reasonable distance. This review and many other ones are the result of coming across something appetizing on a social media feed and deciding I have to give it a taste. I learned about this restaurant in Miami when a video of their Fritanga Wrap came across my Facebook feed. The Fritanga Wrap includes churrasco steak, fried sweet plantains, cubes of fried cheese, a homemade cilantro sauce, crema, and your choice of jasmine rice or gallo pinto rice. These ingredients are some of my favorite things to eat so I knew I had to take advantage of the flavor medley next time I was in the Miami area. Now on to the review.
In all honesty, when it comes to flavor this meal was a Jekyll and Hyde experience for me. As I mentioned earlier, this entrée has a lot of things I really enjoy eating, and when I was able to blend all of those great foods in one bite the flavor was INCREDIBLE. The problem is those bites were few and far between. There was a lack of balance in the ingredients used and in the structure of the wrap itself. As you can see from the photos provided, the wrap was overloaded with gallo pinto, so there were bites that were just tortilla and gallo pinto which isn't very appetizing. At other points there was pockets of crema and their cilantro sauce that I would bit into and completely overpower everything else. There was also a lack of fried cheese (queso frito) cubes throughout the wrap. I do think the churrasco and sweet plantains were at the proper proportions. I believe that if the sauce were properly distributed in the wrap and there was a little less rice and more fried cheese cubes I would have had more incredible bites and loved this creation, but as for this experience I was left slightly disappointed.
My Flavor Ruling:
This is a very difficult area to rate because I did visit this establishment while the pandemic still had many restrictions placed on businesses. Keeping that in mind, the minor interaction I did have with the restaurant staff was rushed and not very welcoming. No one was allowed to eat the restaurant so the front door was essentially barricaded and the entire transaction was conducted over the phone. I called in my order and was told to call again once I arrived at the location and then I would meet them at the front door to pick up my order. My order was correct and I received it pretty quickly and I think that's all you can really ask for during a pandemic, but I do hope if I have the opportunity to visit again the staff will be a little bit more patient and welcoming.
My Service Ruling:
Unfortunately due to the pandemic I was unable to experience the venue. I was only able to observe it from the outside and had no patrons inside, so I can't really provide an accurate review on this aspect of the dining experience.
My Venue Ruling:
On my visit to Sarussi I was able to get one Fritanga Wrap which comes with a side of plaintain chips and a Mamey Milkshake for about $24 with tip. Depending on how big of an appetite you have its enough to feed 2 people. On this day I wasn't particularly hungry and did give the other half to someone else, and we were both full. The wrap is slightly smaller than a Chipotle burrito. The milkshake was also very tasty. The ingredients tasted fresh and like I mentioned earlier, when they were properly proportioned it tasted incredible. However, considering you can get close to the same amount of food at a place like Chipotle for close to $10 cheaper I don't think I can consider this a great value for what you get. Keep in mind, this doesn't mean it's not worth the money because I think it is.
My Value Ruling:
I had high hopes for this experience after watching their videos on Facebook but unfortunately, the experience did not live up to my expectations. To be fair, we have all struggled during the pandemic and there is a strong likelihood this played a role in the experience I had. Overall, I did enjoy the meal but I feel there is room for improvement, and with a minor tweaks here and there this could be one of my favorite places to eat at in Miami. I am hoping I will have the opportunity to give Sarussi another try once the pandemic is over and get the full experience.