by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie
For my next tasting experience, I head to Miracle Mile and to Inti International Restaurant. This concept comes from the minds and owners of locally owned restaurant chain Ay Jalisco. Opening November 2017, the restaurant is named after an ancient Incan sun god and is a new concept for Vero. The dishes offered come from diverse backgrounds and cultures like Peruvian, Mexican and Latin American, thus the name “International”. The restaurant served us a nice variety of dishes to try so we could sample some of what they have to offer.
Located in Miracle Mile on 7th Ave in what was previously known as The Long Branch Saloon, is one of the hottest new restaurant concepts to come to Vero in years. The place has been completely redone and while I don’t know what the old Long Branch Saloon looked like, there isn’t much that appears to remain from the previous tenant. The outside has been updated with a fresh look and feel and the inside is absolutely gorgeous. From a bright, bold tropically decorated wall, two-toned green booths, and the accent lighting throughout, no stone was left unturned when they renovated this place. Even the bathrooms were completely redone which is something that most places tend to overlook. Parking is somewhat limited by the spots along the side and at the rear of the restaurant, but you should be able to park in a few additional spots that are along 22nd Street later in the evening when the businesses in the strip mall next door close for the day.
Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat and drink!
Cancha – These are served free of charge to all tables while you wait for your food. I found a definition online to better explain what these are. “A popular snack in Peru and Ecuador is made with a special type of large-kerneled corn called maize chulpe. The dried kernels are tossed with oil and salt and toasted in a hot skillet until they are browned and puffed”. They taste a lot like popcorn and have a similar texture. Be careful, they are addictive!
Caipirinha – Living up to their “International” name, they brought us Brazil’s National cocktail to try. Made with cachaça, simple syrup, and lime juice, my wife first took a sip and I asked her if it was tangy, sweet, or sour, and she said “Yes!”. I took a sip and was immediately slapped in the face with the tanginess of the lime in the drink. It truly was all of what I described above, tangy, sweet and sour. It was so good!
Tallarin Verde con Bisteck – ($15.50) – This was the first time I’ve seen this dish, so I could not wait to try it. Grilled skirt steak was served over green pasta that had been tossed in a pesto and spinach sauce. The skirt steak was cooked and seasoned to perfection, the Fettuccini pasta was cooked al dente, and the pesto was not as “green” tasting as I thought it might be considering how green the color actually was.
Lomo Salteado – ($15.50) – Peruvian dishes are new to me, so I was curious to see what flavor profile the steak was seasoned with. Peruvian marinated strips of Sirloin steak are sautéed with onions and tomatoes and served with white rice and french fries. The Peruvian flavors seem to be a mix of Asian and Mexican spice blends with a combination of soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, and cumin being used in the marinade. The steak was cut thin and had just a little chew to it. Only thing I’m a little bit confused by is the french fries. White rice and french fries don’t seem to go together, but they may be trying to appeal to a general audience that is not yet familiar with this type of cuisine. I personally would have preferred black beans to be served with the rice which would have been more traditional.
Inti Burger – ($13.00) – We at Vero Beach Foodie are always looking for something different and this one fits that description! From the bottom up, we have a fried green plantain (tostones), sirloin burger patty, bleu cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce and topped off with another fried green plantain. Waffle cut fries and a pickle were served alongside. First off, the presentation was gorgeous! The burger was cooked to perfection and the veggies were very fresh. The fried green plantains were fairly thin but held up well when I picked it up to take a bite which was another feat since I had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite. This one’s definitely a stunner!
Pargo Frito – ($18.00) – Back in the mid 90’s I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico with my dad and we had a dish similar to this, only it was called a Guachinango. A whole red snapper is fried and served with tostones and a side salad. If you love fish, don’t let the fact that this one still has the head on it scare you away, because it’s delicious! It can be a little challenging to eat, but so worth it. The fish was still moist and flaky and the skin was nice and crispy. It brought back some great memories of my travels to Mexico.
With the variety of restaurant choices that Vero Beach has to offer, you would think it would be difficult to do something different and stand out from the crowd, yet Inti has done just that. Even if you are not as adventurous of an eater, like some of us here at Vero Beach Foodie, there is something for everyone on the menu that will please even the pickiest of eaters. For those of you that are adventurous, you will love this place and want to come back, again and again, to see what they come up with next.
Join us next Wednesday, March 28th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm for the Vero Beach Foodie MeetUp and try some of these dishes you just read about with other local foodies right here in Vero Beach! They will be extending happy hour for us and I’m sure they will have a special or two planned for us that you don’t want to miss. Hope to see you there!
Address: 2199 7th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 9:30 PM, Friday & Saturday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, and on Sunday, from 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM