He makes eggplant like a Greek, pasta like he was born in Roma, and a Philly Cheese Steak like his soul is burning up with the promise of the American Dream. And it is.

“Why shouldn’t we open our own business? We’re good at this and we love each other,” said Marvin Cerda of his wife, Juanita, and their business Triton Seafood Restaurant in Marathon.

Precisely because Marvin has spent 12 years cooking in Florida at a variety of restaurants featuring everything from fresh seafood to old Italian favorites, he has the confidence to carry off such a diverse menu.

“It’s all of our favorites. Everything we know to be a good, and popular with our guests,” he said.

The best seller by far, Juanita said, is the Rigatoni Vodka Lobster. Other popular dishes include the Fettucine Juanita with shrimp and lobster, the Triton Seven Seas combo platter and the Meat Lover Rib Eye topped with grilled onions, mushrooms and drizzled with white truffle oil.

But the ceviche, well, the ceviche deserves a paragraph of its own. “People ask me if I am Peruvian,” he said, with a modest smile.  Huge chunks of fresh fish (Mahi when he can get it) are marinated in a simple sauce that’s light and bright. Crisp red onion, colorful bell peppers, cilantro, and just the right bite of vinegar make this a must-have. Many chefs make the mistake of over-doing the pre-meal game, but not Marvin. It shows his clear respect for the ingredients and natural flavor.

Diners should look for the specials like Sopa de Rez (shortrib soup with yucca). Or try the carne asada made the way Nicaraguans make it served with mixed rice and black beans (gallo pinto) with fresh Central American slaw.

Triton opened on the Fourth of July in the former location of Nowhere Grill across from Beall’s. Business was great, Marvin said, better than expected as the months ticked past. Post-Irma, the place continues to operate in the black based on its already earned customer loyalty. It serves good meals at reasonable prices, and also serves beer and wine and cocktails.

Triton Seafood is located at 11399 Overseas Highway in Marathon. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, and open for breakfast as well on the weekends from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The number is 305-998-4392.

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