Remembering Fritas Domino La Original as Miami’s 1st Frita Joint

Fritas Domino La Original (936 SW 67th Avenue)has been around in one incarnation or another since 1961. It was originally on 8th Street and 12th Avenue in Little Havana. When it closed in early 1982, the same location became the legendary El Rey de las Fritas.

The decor and seating have a very 1970s skating rink feel. There are also a bunch of mismatched chairs and tables.

The oddest thing was that there was a group of older people seated a few tables away having a very Que Pasa USA? (a Miami TV show which was in Spanglish) conversation.

This one guy was speaking in perfect English while the little old lady was responding in cliche-ridden Spanish. The third fellow was just silent. They were discussing how better things were in Cuba back in the day before the revolution. 

These characters wanted everyone to hear what they were discussing. I’m going to assume in the hopes that someone else would jump into the discussion.

Not me folks, I’m just here for the food!

Fritas Domino Food Talk

Anyway, so I order a Frita Cubana (the Cuban Hamburger), a Perro Enrollado (hot dog wrapped in bacon), and a  Coke.

The Perro Enrollado is a great idea that I had seen in the Nitza Villapol cookbook. The hot dog itself was nothing special until you split it in half, stuff it with American cheese, & wrap it in bacon. It was served on some soft bread with ketchup layering the bottom and topped with the majestic housemade julienne potatoes

The Frita (with julienne potatoes, ketchup, and diced onions) hit the spot. I was initially disappointed that a regular hamburger roll was used instead of a Cuban roll. I got over it real quick, though.

The truth as it pertains to the roll is that when Fritas Domino first sold their Fritas in the 1960s, it was the only bun that fit the mold of what they needed.

The Frita Patty from Frita Domino does have that pronounced Spanish paprika taste. In this case, I do believe there is some Chorizo mixed in with the ground beef.

If you do make it out to Fritas Domino, don’t forget to leave some room for the churros. They come four to an order.

Fritas Domino Pictures

Food Pictures
En El Nuevo Herald
In the Miami Herald
El Nuevo Herald Round 2
Frita Cubana

8 thoughts on “Remembering Fritas Domino La Original as Miami’s 1st Frita Joint”

  1. Just saw this article. you were talking about Fritas Domino La original but there is a correction that Fritas on 67 Avenue was not owned by the Estevill family. dago sold or gave his recipe to the owner trying to revive the original fritas domino. the family tomas had another Fritas Domino right in front of Jackson High School when that one closed the store on 8 st and 12 Avenue burn down they rebuilt but it wasn’t the same then came El Rey de las Fritas (which is not even close to the original.) El Rey uses Cuban bread for their fritas Tomas uses hamburger buns. which in my opinion tasted better. I know this because I lived and worked in the fritas for the later part of the 60th and 70th

  2. Yes Dago own the bakery, Tomas worked the Fritas Daniel had an upholstery business at the very end of the building. I remember there was a dry cleaning business next to the fritas they were our next door neighbors. And there was a hardware store next to the bakery. Man what memories.

  3. I worked in fritas domino 8 st and 12 ave we were good friends with Tomas, Dago, Miquel and Daniel and the father estevil ran his business great remember when they were making the meat for the fritas no one was aloud in the back (family secret) I was hanging around la frita since I was 8 years old and started working in the kitchen at 13. great time. they even own the bakery nest door Havana Bakery. Coqui

  4. I’ve been to this new frita domino, though I grew up eating the original which was located on 8 street and 12th avenue. Unfortunately, these fritas don’t even come close to the fritas made by the father Dagoberto. Fritas back then were 10 cents apiece and you had to eat standing up but my God they were awesome ! I ordered the raw meat frita in order to cook them myself from home for the weekend. The meat was nothing but ground meat with paprika added. These are not fritas but imitations the original frita contained ground chorizo as well. The same can be said for el Rey de las frita on 8th street nice visual presentation but not a real frita.

  5. The Cuban Bread Roll appreared only in recent years. Growing up in Miami during the sixties all of the fritas used soft rolls. The cuban bread I think was a matter of necesity in cuba when they no longer were able to produsce the softer rolls and all they had available was the cuban bread due to lack of ingridients or local demand. The new generations grew up with the cuban bread rolls and got used to it. However unless the cuban bread is very fresh, it gets hard and dry which takes away from the taste.


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