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“Yes, it really is inside the gas station” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Carajo

El Carajo
2465 S.W. 17th Avenue, Miami, FL 33145
305.856.2424
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Ranked #102 of 3,622 Restaurants in Miami
Cuisines: Spanish
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
State College, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Yes, it really is inside the gas station”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

El Carajo (The Crow's Nest) serves wonderful tapas and offers an extraordinarily fine selection of wines. To get there, however, you really do have to go into the gas station. As you make your way through the Coconut Grove section of Miami, just a block or so off U.S. Route 1, you arrive at what looks like a perfectly ordinary gas station, with pumps and parking spaces and a convenience store. You will think that this fine and widely-praised Miami restaurant you've heard about must be behind the gas station, or around from the gas station, or somewhere other than the gas station. But disregard those little voices of doubt in your mind. Go ahead and park in one of the parking spaces for the gas station. Walk into the gas station as if all you wanted was to buy a quart of oil, or a package of Slim Jims, or a Dr. Pepper. And when you do so, you will find in the back of the restaurant -- beyond the normal appurtenances of a gas-station convenience store -- an amazing array of wines, and a bakery whose shelves fairly groan with rich and tempting dessert items, and beyond that El Carajo, the great tapas restaurant you've been looking for.

The scale of the restaurant is intimate -- just a few tables. The look is Castilian brick-and-sandstone (fabricated, admittedly, but tastefully so), and the wait staff are unfailingly prompt and courteous. The selection of wines-by-the-glass is extraordinary; my wife thoroughly enjoyed her sangria, and I had a delightful Argentine malbec. The tapas that our party enjoyed included empanada de langosta (mini-pie stuffed with lobster), sardinas de santurce (grilled sardines), pulpo a la gallega (Galician octopus -- reminded us of being in Santiago de Compostela), and chorizo al vino (sausage in wine sauce). That list should give you a good sense of the variety of tapas, and the delightful dining experience, available to you at El Carajo. All you need to do is think counterintuitively, park at the gas station, and walk into the gas station.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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98 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    51
    36
    7
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Amazing Tapas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

This restaurant is a real find...when you find it. It is in the gas station and not well marked. The food is incredible with a wine list to match. There is something for everyone on the menu.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hopkinton, NH
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Yes, it is in the building that previously housed gas station”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Excellent service and food. We had the chorizo, fried chickpeas and meat platter. The skirt steak was excellent.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Lousiville, KY
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Delicious Food in a BP Station”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My wife and had lunch at El Carajo after visiting Vizcaya. First, the tapas were delicious. The place is very nice and the people were friendly and the service was great! Second, finding it was a little difficult. The GPS said we passed it. We returned and didn't see it. I called and the person who answered said we are in the BP. They are and they also have what looks like a great wine shop. Try it! You will like it. It may also be a good place to get gas.

Visited February 2013
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Homestead, Florida
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“And They Call It A Gas Station?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

What can I say but I even sent in an invitation to Guy Fieri at Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to come and enjoy a great little off the wall restaurant that offers great food, great wine (excellent value and only $10 corkage fee) and an atmosphere like no other. If you want to go on a weekend better make reservations. I suggest a weekday lunch or saturday or sunday lunch. When you drive into this BP gas station you wouldn't believe the wine selection and the food. Very cozy and just a great get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A must see when in Miami

Visited February 2013
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