“Hi, fam. – we have a layover in Miami from 2:00 p.m. 12/24/16 until 10:00 a.m. 12/25/16. How far are you from this hotel?” I received this message on December 18, 2016, in a group text message.

“How convenient! Always let someone know on such short notice. Oh, and holiday weekend too? No! We don’t work! We have no lives! No one travels to Miami during Christmas, or do they? Oh yeah – we will be there with bells on! It’s a hop, skip, and a jump away! See you! Duces!” This was my reply in the group message because I knew I had to work an eight to ten-hour shift on December 24. I would be exhausted, and in no way was I going to take an hour’s drive south for such a short visit. And it’s not my layover! Guess what? After much consideration, I made the sacrifice; took the ride south, and I was so glad I did.

Seeing my cousin, Monique, again after almost twenty years, gave me so much joy. After all the “happy to see you” hugs and kisses, we wanted to go get something to eat. She found a Cuban restaurant down the street from the hotel they were staying. After arriving at the Cuban restaurant, there was a Honduran restaurant next door, so we decided to eat there.  Patio Tipico Restaurant is the name of this hidden gem. The food was excellent, and they made us feel right at home.

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We danced, ate, drank margaritas, and enjoyed each other’s company in this comfy, cozy environment. I will go back because they treated us with much respect. They didn’t speak much English, but we communicated very well. If you have a layover or happen to be in Miami, go check out Patio Tipico Restaurant, it truly is a hidden gem, and the staff will make you feel like you’re at home.

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Our waitress

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Me and Monique

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La Familia

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