La Niña 2 is going to have that same family-feel as the original space on the west end of Marathon. Originally just a coffee counter, the first La Niña has outgrown its space, and now the second one will more than double the restaurant’s foothold in Marathon.
La Niña is the creation of Vicente Colon and his family. Originally from Cuba, he moved to the Keys years ago, and opened the first coffee stand. The grand opening of La Niña 2 takes place on Friday, Aug. 23.
He said, in Spanish, that staffing wouldn’t be a problem. “My whole family works here. My daughter, my son, my aunts and cousins,” he said.
Isbely, his daughter, will run the front of the house, and his son, Javier, will cook in the space that used to be Plaza Grill, which Colon has leased. (He has two more sons, and two granddaughters he adores, too.) The front cover of the menu proclaims “A Little Piece of Cuba in the Keys, Family Restaurant.”
“He has a beautiful family. He’s going to be a success,” said landlord Ralph Lucignano.
“He’s helped me so much,” Vicente said. “I am grateful to Ralph.”
Colon has made a significant investment in the restaurant (check out the etched glass decorations which depict the melding of flags from the U.S. and Cuba and intends to offer Cuban cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner with some eclectic surprises. So, don’t be surprised to see the gleaming, stainless steel espresso machine sharing counter space with a retro-looking, bright orange juicer.
The new menu spans breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast it includes favorites like huevos con chuleta (eggs and pork chops), omelets, empanadas and croquetas con jamon (ham croquettes). Colon is proud to offer Café La Rica, which is the official coffee of the Miami Marlins.
Lunch includes Cuban, Cuban Mix and Midnight sandwiches and pasta marinara and Alfredo.
For an appetizer, skip directly to the Picadita La Niña — it’s fried pork chunks, Cuban tamale and fried plantains. Another delicious option looks like the fried green plantains stuffed with shrimp.
The dinner menu reveals some out-of-the-ordinary options that sound delicious. Sure you can have the mahi, but why not try the kingfish? Churasco is always delicious, but when’s the last time you indulged in grilled liver? There are many opportunities to leave the realm of tried-and-true and sample something new while your companion consumes a well-made classic.
“My family and I are very proud to open La Niña 2,” said Colon.
Like the sign hanging in the corner of the restaurant reads, “Dios bendiga mi negocio y a quienes nos visita” or “God bless my business and those who visit us.”
The original location of La Niña will now be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. La Niña 2 will be open for lunch, dinner and breakfast daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. beginning Friday, Aug. 23.