Downtown/Biscayne Corridor

The Roads

Spanish and Asian foods star at Roads’ cafe


If You Go

What: Triple S (soups, salads and sandwiches)

When: Monday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; closed Sunday

Where: 1245 S.W. 22nd St. (Coral Way)

Prices: Soups ($5.95 - $9.95); Salads ($6.95 - $10.95); Sandwiches ($7.95 - $11.95)

For more information, call 786-314-5688 or visit

Special to The Miami Herald

There’s a new neighborhood eatery in the Roads, and it’s serving a delicious triple threat of gourmet soups, salads and sandwiches.

Opened two weeks ago, Triple S is the brainchild of Spanish artist-turned-restaurateur Joel Blanco and his Chinese entrepreneur wife, Si Chen. The menu reflects their respective cultures, a mix of fine European and Asian staples at affordable prices.

“We don’t want to be just another sandwich shop,” Chen said. “We want to be like a multi-

cultural experience.”

The Spanish influence is evident in many of the sandwiches, most served on a hot, pressed baguette. Options include the Quixote, layered with Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, roasted red pepper, aioli sauce, lettuce and tomato, and the Italian, made with salami, prosciutto, mortadella, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, and tomato.

Three types of club sandwiches (ham and swiss, turkey and chicken) are popular among customers from nearby businesses, including a fitness center and Buddhist temple.

A dozen different salads feature crab meat, fine deli meats and cheeses, and can be paired with chicken and shrimp for an additional cost. The Green and Fruit Salad, Chen’s favorite, is a refreshing blend of spring mix tossed with green apples, grapes, mandarins, caramelized roasted walnuts, raisins, bananas, strawberry slices, blueberry, cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette.

And then there’s the Boba Tea, also known as Bubble Tea, a Taiwanese original gaining popularity in South Florida. The milk-based cold teas contain pearl-sized tapioca balls swimming at the bottom of the cup. Triple S offers more than 10 different flavors, including jasmine, mocha, honeydew, lychee, mango, mint, lavender, and rose.

“It’s very fresh, good for you and has the real spirit of tea,” said Chen, a certified tea master in China and tea ceremony master for Zen Village Buddhist temple in Coconut Grove.

She takes her tea seriously, importing the ingredients, machinery and accessories straight from Taiwan.

The menu also features soups, combos and Snow Ice, a Chinese version of shaved ice topped with fresh fruit.

Loyal customers are rewarded with a free item for every six purchases of $10 or more.

“We were only open a week and people were already coming back to turn in their frequent

customer card. That’s a good sign,” Blanco said.

Right from the start, love blossomed around food. Blanco and Chen met three years ago

at Chu’s Taiwanese Kitchen and Bar (now closed), where she was his boss. Chen, now 23,

opened her first café in China when she was 17 and has since owned and co-owned four

different restaurants.

Blanco, 29, had no prior experience in this area, but had his heart set on opening his own restaurant and was working at Chu’s to learn more. After Chu’s abruptly closed last year, the couple took a leap of faith, getting married and mapping out their business plan.

Next month they plan to add gold leaves to their signature Triple S Especial sandwich and Triple S Salad. Blanco will begin painting a mural on the restaurant’s exterior wall.

“We want to make customers happy,” Chen said.

Read more Biscayne Corridor stories from the Miami Herald

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