Latest news about V&E (Vida and Estilo) Restaurant Group.

National Sandwich Day 2023 & the Menu Adoption Cycle

Trending on National Sandwich Day

National Sandwich Day 2023 & the Menu Adoption Cycle

National Food Days are designated days throughout the year when specific foods or types of cuisine are celebrated and enjoyed. These days are often used to promote particular dishes, ingredients, or culinary traditions.

While the origins of National Sandwich Day may not be well-documented, it has become a lighthearted and enjoyable celebration of a beloved food that holds a special place in the hearts and stomachs of many Americans. It’s an opportunity to savor and experiment with the endless variety of sandwiches that can be found in restaurant menus around the world.

That said, let’s gather some US insights: Sandwich appears in about 70% of Menus. And according to AI MenuCast “the AI-powered tool that uses F&B industry data to help bring products to life faster..” sandwich is projected to experience a decrease of -2% by 2027.

Speaking of Sandwich Varieties, looking at the Menus at VE Hospitality Group (VEHG) while keeping up with current trends, we combined Datassential data & our menus.

Growing in Preferences: BAO
Currently in 2% of US Menus
Predicted growth 2.7% by 2027
Where in VEHG: PaperFish Sushi Bar

Latino & Interesante:
Ropa Vieja
While in only 0.6% of menus in US
Ropa Vieja is predicted to grow 22% thru 2027
Where in VEHG: Cortadito Coffee House.

One Classic: Reuben
10 years ago was in 20% of the menus
Today is 16.9%& while not growing much,
Everybody knows its name.
Where on VEHG: News Cafe.

The One to Like: Cubano
Currently in 2.3% of menus
Prospective growth is 2.8% by 2027
Where on VEHG: Havana 1957, Marabu, Cortadito, Cafe Americano

Morning Champion: Breakfast Sandwich.
It is in 20% of the menus
And will grow to 23% by 2027
Where on VEHG: Cafe Americano, Cortadito


V&E Hospitality Group among the Largest Employers in South Florida.


South Florida Business Journal has listed the 50 Largest Employers in SoFla including Vida & Estilo Hospitality Group, VEHG ranking #29.

VE, founded in Miami Beach in 1996, is the only restaurant industry group included in the top 50 with over 2,057 companywide employment & 1,608 in South Florida.

Ranked by number of SoFla employees, the list includes a great variety of employers in sectors like education, health care, insurance, travel, management & consulting and more.

Take a look at the full list

FIU Chaplin & Vida & Estilo Team Real World Podcast Episode

This happened during Vida & Estilo branded day at FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. VE leaders talked about challenges, favorite dishes, how to create a nice vibe at the restaurant, how to work as a team, how to have fun & much more during The Real World Podcast.

Learn about Regional Sales Manager Fabiana’s journey from running the floor to mastering events, Chef Alex Martinez from music to cooking and how his abuela inspired him. Take a listen to Chef Alex Medina words of wisdom to students about fear not and embrace challenges; and listen to the Ratatouille moment, flavor & mind clicking experience the first time Havana 1957 Pembroke Pines General Manager Carlos Proenza tried Pollo Havana. During the podcast VE leaders talk about their background, their favorite dishes, how to balance work – life and the things they wished somebody would have told them when they first started their hospitality voyage.

VE Team

Check out the podcast on your preferred platform:






Hispanic Heritage Month Award to Cortadito Coffee House


Cortadito Coffee House has been recognized this year with the Hispanic Heritage Month Award 21st Edition of the Annual Recognitions in the city of Miami Beach.

The Hispanic Affairs Committee in Miami Beach honored, including Cortadito together with over a dozen of members of the community who live or work in the City of Miami Beach and who have made a positive contribution to the city in their respective professions.

Hispanic Heritage month acknowledges the social and economic contributions of all Hispanos & Latinos, including their role in business, politics, science, education, the arts & the hospitality industry.

With its modern Ventanita style designs, the unique flavors & menu variety, Cortadito has become a crucial part of our heritage’s essence & proven to be a vibrant and dynamic celebration of culture, history & community, also providing continued support to Miami Beach Community, from Miami Beach HighTides football team to creating scholarships to FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management Students, as well as non-profit organizations like AYUDA by donating food to the
VIP Pre-Salsa Fest this year.

The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month can be traced back to 1968 when it began as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson until it was later expanded to a month-long celebration by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 happening every year from September 15th to October 15th.

Congratulations! Cortadito Coffee House.
By E. Machado


SOBE Seafood Festival, Innovation & one Sushi Battle.


PaperFish Sushi Bar (Espanola Way) Chef will defend his champion title at the Battle of Sushi during this year’s SOBE Seafood Festival.  

The 11th edition of the weekend-long with lots of fun celebration of all things del mar, including the popular VIP Chef Showdown, is taking place on the beach on the weekend of  October 20th and will feature 24 Chef Battles & a great opportunity for Chefs to innovate & create new dishes to add to their menus at 7pm on Friday.

WANT TO KNOW Why to Visit this Festival? Say no more and READ  about SOBE Seafood 11th edition.

Sushi Winner in 2022
During the 10 year of SOBE Seafood Festival, PaperFish Chef Michael  Asalie, delighted the Chef with a Sandwich del Mar creation that consisted of a Tuna Roll with Crab & Avocado, topped with red tobico and bonito flakes.

Ranking among the Best Restaurants in the Travel Guide Tripadvisor, PaperFish Sushi Bar, has currently two locations operating, one in Brickell & one in South Beach and offering  a rich tapestry of flavors, textures & signatures dishes, making it a source of delight and exploration for japanese food enthusiasts in Miami. 

As of 2023 there are over 19K Sushi Restaurants in the US, according to consulting company IbisWorld with a 4% increase since 2022. 

Get Festival Tickets & support PaperFish Chef.

by E. Machado

Best Of Miami® 2023

logo_New Times_Best Of Miami

Five VE Group concepts including Marabu, Havana 1957, PaperFish, Barsecco & Cortadito Coffee House are Reader’s choice New Times Best of Miami winners this year.


New Times, the trusted source of information about news, restaurants, music and the arts for more than 1 million monthly active readers, releases every year their Best of Miami® (in their own  words): “official guide to the best people, restaurants, bars, clubs, stores, music and more in Miami”


For another year, restaurants like PaperFish, Marabu & Cortadito Coffee House were awarded with Reader’s Choice while new additions include Havana 1957.


Taking a closer look to 2023 winners top favorites & uniqueness notes: 


Best Cuban Marabu

Skirt Steack

Leading the charts: Skirt Steak, Masas al Carbon, Ropa Vieja, Cubano & Vaca Frita.
Uniqueness Notes: Reputation is all about,  #1 of 2.7K in Miami.


Best Coffee House Cortadito


Cortadito Doggi

Leading the charts: Cortaditos & Cafe con Leche (Medium is king). 

Uniqueness Notes: Tale of two cities, Conventions & Cuban Bowls. 


Best Sushi PaperFish


Leading the charts: Signature Rolls

Uniqueness Notes: Ratings & Reviews 5.0 in TripAdvisor. 


Best Brunch Barsecco


Leading the charts: Brunch Unlimited Mimosas, Hookahs & Margaritas

Uniqueness Notes: Must-Have $7 Happy Hour MON to FRI  3 to 7 pm or SAT & SUN 4 to 7 pm.


Best Mojito Havana 1957

Mojito Havana

Leading the charts: Pollo Havana, Orquesta Cubana, Cubanos, Churrasco & Mojitos!
Uniqueness Notes: About 300 between Classic & Super Mojitos served daily.


Link to Winners  BOM 2023 

Cortaditos & Café con Leche

Looking at 12 months & over 270K guests visits at Cortadito Coffee House between Miami Beach & Coral Gables and specifically for the top two coffee ordered here is what we noticed:  35% of consumers ordered Cafe Con Leche while 20% had a Cortadito.

In the May edition of Food Business News, there is a dedicated ingredient trends story about boosting innovation with coffee & tea by contributing editor Donna Berry. The article provides interesting data about the innovation evolution and new trends that includes healthier options thru ingredients such as organic caffeine from green tea, green coffee & antioxidant boosts.

From feeling awake to part of a daily routine, helping to focus, relieve stress, coffee & tea are part of our daily lives. According to researchers mentioned in the article, natural caffeine has a longer and more consistent effect on mood and mental cognition vs synthetic caffeine while innovators are looking into coffee fruit juice & to include the  entire plant vs just the beans.

Cafe con Leche at Cortadito Coffee House is a go-to breakfast choice with options for milk from whole to almond, coconut & oat & temperature wise, frozen, Iced or hot as a choice.

As of Cortaditos, guests can always choose the type of milk, add extra shots of espresso & sugar or no sugar at all. 

As for recommendations, nothing to look at Cortadito reviews, here is one taken from Lauri N via Yelp that says:  “Chill vibe and great customer service! I ran over to grab some Cuban caffeine and wish I was visiting longer to try amazing looking food. Love the happy ambience- highly recommend a large cortadito with whole milk to get your day started!”

By. E Machado


Vaca Frita & Cuban Food



Menu Trends market research firm Datassential has Vaca Frita appearing on 0.3% of the menus in the US & is found equally in both, independent & chain restaurants with a notably +8% growth in the last 12-months. 

For VE concepts like Havana 1957 & Marabu, this menu item is a no-brainer, same as to anybody living in Florida, specially in Miami. And speaking of Havana 1957,  the almost a decade and a half location on the beautiful Espanola Way in South Beach has been listed as the Top 9 Vaca Frita in Miami spots by the prestigious culinary guide Infatuation.

Looking at items sold over the last 12 months, at the end of May, both Havana 1957 & Marabu have been serving about 20 flank steak Vaca Fritas per day & about 12 daily of Chicken, also a very popular item for the citrus onion sauce lovers. 

What about Ropa Vieja? Truth is that now officially in the Adoption cycle Ropa Vieja, according to Datassential, does appear in 0.6% menus with a slight decrease in 12-month growth charts. Ropa is widely popular as well as Havana 1957 & Marabu. Thing is that besides having them served as entrees, guests can also enjoy them in Tostones rellenos & Empanadas. 

Back to Vaca Frita, the wikipedia entry dedicated to this dish defines it as a Cuban dish of fried and shredded flank steak and translates into fried cow.

By. E. Machado


National Cocktail Day & the Menu Adoption Cycle

Cocktails & Menus.

Every year on March 24th we celebrate National Cocktail Day & today we pair our selections with the four stages of the Menu Adoption Cycle with some restaurant favorites across VE Restaurants in Miami & Las Vegas.

The first definition of cocktail appeared in a New York newspaper in May 1806: *”stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water & bitters“*. The legends around the origin of the name range from the french word “coquetier” which refers to glass bowls that were used for both purposes in the late 1700’s, to cockfighting stories in which winning rooster owners took defeated tails and stir their drinks in sign of victory (cock’s tail). The truth is that the origin of the word remains unknown.

What is a Cocktail? In the words of Mixologist Danilo Bolzovic, in his must-read book The Art of Mixology, Bars & Cocktails, Barkeep, *”A well-made cocktail should offer a symphony of flavors and each sip should unveil a new aroma“*.

To celebrate, we are also looking at the Menu Adoption Cycle (MAC), defined as the framework to predict food trend, that we cherish & follow at VE Group, totally agreeing that trends start at restaurants. The MAC has been created by market research firm Datassential and it establishes four stages:

1) Inception – New & Not So common to find
 –@Oh! MEXICO Restaurants









At Oh! Mexico in Miami Beach, the menu includes five varieties of Cantaritos, all made with Mezcal including Flor de Mayo, Paloma, the Smokey Watermelon (pictured), Mezcal Negroni & Chachalaca.


2) Adoption – Slowly and nicely growing on menus.
News Cafe
This cocktail appears in 2.2% of the Menus in the US and has grown +39% in the last 4 years. At News Cafe is prepared with Old Forester 86, Campari, Martini Rossi Sweet Vermouth


3) Proliferation – Grown & Popular, chain restaurants & almost everywhere.







Moscow Mule is currently in 10.7% of menus, with a 12–month growth of minus 8% and minus 6% in the last 4 years.
Found at Barsecco, Cafe Americano, Mercato della Pescheria & also at Paperfish.


4) Ubiquity – Everywhere, All the Time.
Some good examples are: Mojito (pictured), Margarita, Rum & Coke, martini, daiquiri, pina colada.

Take Mojito, for example,  which is more common to find on regional chains like Havana 1957.
This cocktail is presently on more than 20% of menus & it has experienced a -3% growth in the last 12-months.
This cocktail is a Top Seller – @Marabu / Brickell City Centre in Miami.

Let’s get ready for the weekend, the cocktail way.

By. E Machado
Photo credits @Verestaurants


Havana 1957 Wins: Best Sandwiches of America

This seems to the year of Latin influences in the sandwich category restaurant menus, Latin connecting with innovation & creativity.

Without a doubt, Restaurant Hospitality’s Best Sandwiches annual competition is one of the most expected, where independent operators have the opportunity to submit their sandwich candidates. RH’s editors evaluate based on looks, description, uniqueness notes & ingredients. Editors spot the trends across the nation and select the winners in America, a slideshow that every chef gets to look at for one year when they need inspiration for their menus. 

One of the notable trends for 2022 is the Latino influences that mix Cuban with Mexican or Brazilian, like Havana 1957, Chef Yunior Perez, one of  the winners and editorial mentions of the year.

Chef Yunior, born and raised in Havana, Cuba where he went to culinary school, moved to Miami in 2015 & joined VE Restaurant Group with the Havana 1957 concept in 2018. Promoted to Sous Chef in only two months on the job, he is now the Executive Chef in South Beach, at the Hotel Breakwater location in Miami Beach. 


Chef Yunior’s mantra: Elige un trabajo que te guste y no tendras que trabajar ni un dia en tu vida” aka Get a job that you love so you dont have to work a single day in your life”.
When you love your work, it does not feel like working at all.

For the head turning El Guapo aka The handsome , Yunior’s inspiration are Latin America roots, flavors, culture & Cuban Sandwich, the famous sandwich with a wikipedia entry. I have to specially thank Chef Juan Luis Rosales, Concept Chef Havana 1957 & Corporate Chef Alex Medina for their support & expertise when creating El Guapo” – said Chef Perez.

The Cubano-style sandwich El Guapo, proud with flavors from Latin America, has roasted picanha beef, cream cheese chimichurri sauce, guacamole and roasted tomatoes pressed in Cuban bread topped with butter.

Find Best Sandwiches of America in 2022 HERE.


By. E. Machado