4

The Only Thing Better Than the Food at Tap Tap -- the Music

taptapband.jpg
Tap Tap's house band.
^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

It’s sort of a shame that the most popular Haitian restaurant in Miami is in South Beach rather than, say, Little Haiti. But Moped Whitey’s fear of an unknown ‘hood isn’t the only reason -- although it probably helps -- for Tap Tap’s (819 Fifth Street, Miami Beach; 305-672-2898) claim to that title. It’s gotta be one of the tastiest, most unique establishments in Miami.

Every wall is covered with a colorful, sometimes eerie, mural -- the type you’d expect to see painted on an alleyway in Haiti. And embedded throughout the restaurant are little artful Santeria shrines, adorned with strangely personal items like a woman’s ballet slippers. It’s not something you’d expect in a restaurant -- and neither is the giant painting of Black Baby Jesus.

And the food is damn good -- reasonably priced, large-portioned, simple dishes prepared to perfection. Among the winners were the grouper in lime sauce and the fried pork chunks, which confirmed that high-falutin’ dish names are for chefs with something to hide.

The kicker is the Tap Tap Band, which played a mix of jazz and Haitian folk. A guitarist and bassist were led by a saxophonist, and the latter, as a friend aptly pointed out, didn’t go for that mournful-wailing-on-a-bridge-during-sunset sound that’s plagued his instrument ever since Kenny G laid his hands on one. His funky, short-note playing was more James Brown back-up band than Bill Clinton. Stuffed into a small space among tables, and playing lively, jam-heavy songs, Tap Tap easily transcends the “background music” vibe that your average house band lends itself too.

If you’re planning a trip to Tap Tap, aim for Thursday or Saturday night, when the band plays.

-- Gus Garcia-Roberts

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.