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Don Shula's Town
By Nicholas Jurkowski

Miami Lakes is a small town located at the North end of Miami-Dade County. It was originally constructed by companies owned by famous Florida senator “Cap” Graham, and the Graham family still owns a large portion of it. For whatever reason, the town is a living tribute to famed Dolphins coach Don Shula, and features many exciting locations named after the football guru - for example, Don Shula’s Steakhouses (nos. 1 and 2), Don Shula’s Hotel, Don Shula’s Golf Course, and Don Shula’s Colonic Irrigation Hut. While it is essentially a suburb of Miami, it offers some fine shopping and restaurants, the most notable being El Novillo restaurant.

While Steakhouses are quite common, Nicaraguan food is not. This makes El Novillo, as a Nicaraguan Steakhouse, something that you definitely don’t see every day. How is Nicaraguan food different from other Central American Foods (Mexican, for example)? Well, in truth, the differences will not overwhelm you, but they are certainly palpable. In particular, fruits such as mangos and papayas play large roles in the dishes. Most of the other differences involve a reordering of ingredients that you would recognize from Mexican food. Gallo Pinto, for example, is one of the most popular side-dishes, and is composed of rice, onions, peppers, red beans, and garlic.

The dishes at El Novillo are, without exception, delicious. The prices are pretty reasonable, and the portions are huge and tasty. The house special is their churrasco, which is a skirt steak butterflied and marinated. It is served in three sizes, depending on your appetite. For seafood, try the shrimp in jalapeno sauce – a real treat and quite a steal at $17.95. They have a variety of desserts, personal favorite being the pio quinto – a rum-soaked torte with white pudding, dusted with cinnamon.

If you’re in the mood for Latin American food but want to try something other than the standard Cuban or Mexican, consider El Novillo in Miami Lakes. There is no better way to get there than a limousine, which makes any trip a mini-vacation in itself. El Novillo and Mirage Limo – a winning combination!

Nick Jurkowski is a senior editor for http://www.milleniumlimo.com The essays above can be found on his night life blog, The Urban Adventure Blog, which is updated daily.

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