Morro Castle is located in Little Havana (2500 NW 7th Street). If you’re not into the open air type of thing, then this is not the place for you. It’s one of those spots you probably drive by and say to yourself; I’m going to stop there one day but never do.
It’s not very far from where I live, so I decided to drop in for some late lunch. There were a couple of people being very loud when I walked in. This hullaballoo was just confirmation to me that I was in Little Havana.
MORRO CASTLE HISTORY
In late 1962, the Morro Castle corporation was incorporated, but it was not until January of 1963 that Morro Castle opened its doors in a former Dairy Isle building. Alberto Villalobos and his partner added some tables around the open-air counter and converted it into a drive-in.
The Morro Castle menu from 1964 featured a fifteen-cent Frita Cubana, a twenty-five cent Perro Caliente (hot dog), a fifteen-cent “Hamburguer” and twenty-cent cheeseburgers. This same year Alberto, now the sole owner, bought the property.
The second Morro Castle location was built in east Hialeah and opened in late 1966. It has since moved to its current location. Alberto split his time running both places until his brother Horacio Villalobos arrived from Cuba with his family in early 1967.
The original location on NW 7th Street would prepare the uncooked Frita patties, churros, and flans for both restaurants. It operated as a commissary for both locations until 1984, when Alberto passed away. The Hialeah location is now run independently of the Little Havana location.
Back to my order
I’m also ordering food for my sister and father.
I ordered a few fritas, a “grilled” cheeseburger, papitas fritas (aka french fries), some churros, and a couple of flans.
Now, the frita was very very good, that’s two verys if you’re keeping count at home. The Morro Castle frita comes with raw onions, ketchup, and their homemade tiny potatoes (julienne cut). This frita probably has the most pronounced chorizo flavor of all the old school fritas in town.
The grilled cheeseburger tasted OK and had that processed rubbery neon-colored American cheese. The type that your intestines will not be able to get rid of for a few weeks, yet I’m sickly in love with this type of cheese for reasons I can’t explain.
The papitas fritas aka fries were the regular suspects. I’ve had them before and they were just fine.
As per my sis, the churros are better than La Palma, and I thought so too. The flan was great, it was creamy and had a hint of coconut flavor.
So if you’re ever in Little Havana, stop by and try their fritas, grab a flan and if it’s cold, then plan to wait in line for churros.
After 55 years in Little Havana, Morro Castle sadly closed its doors in May of 2017.