Erik Estrada knows how to do Miami like a local. The former CHiPs star eschews typical celeb hot spots and heads to places where he knows he can get good, no-flash grub.
“I love Latin dancing,” says Estrada, in town to promote his voice work in Planes: Fire & Rescue. “After a night out, I have to go to La Palma Cafeteria and knock out some eggs, tostones, rabo encendido [oxtail] or lo que desea [whatever you want].”
Another must stop: Islas Canarias bakery. “If you don’t get there early in the day, forget getting a plate. It’s packed. The food is just that good.”
The New York native, 65, definitely enjoys his time here. Though he’s not retired by a long shot, relaxation is never a bad thing. Which is why Planes suited him so well.
“With animation, you walk into a room, and the dialogue is right in front of you. There’s no interaction with costars,” Estrada says, adding with a laugh: “You just show up. You don’t got to shave or shower or nothing.”
In all seriousness, Estrada enjoyed his time working on the Disney sequel, assisting Dusty the cropduster fight fires from the air. Coincidentally (not), the telenovela star plays Nick “Loop’n’ Lopez,” a macho helicopter cop who used to be on TV’s CHoPs.
“It was a beautiful reminder of CHiPs,” says Estrada, who played Poncho on the iconic show from 1977 to 1983. “And you gotta have respect for the bravery of the first responders. They’re in the front line.”
Does the actor catch any of the new cops shows today?
“Nah, I don’t,” he admits. “I used to try to get those gigs, but they said my persona as Ponch was too big that it would be a distraction. I like my Animal Planet. Morgan Freeman on Through the Wormhole [Science Channel]. National Geographic, Game of Thrones. Gritty stuff. I like gritty.”
Rob Lowe is going back to Lifetime, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actor’s last outing on the female friendly network was in 2012 as the lead in Drew Peterson: Untouchable. Lowe goes from convicted murderer to victim in the upcoming Beautiful and Twisted, portraying Ben Novack Jr., the 53-year-old Fontainebleau heir who was brutally slain in a New York hotel room on July 12, 2009. Novack’s body was discovered by his wife Narcy ( Paz Vega), who is serving a life sentence for plotting the slaying of her husband and his mother Bernice Novack ( Candice Bergen). Set to air this fall, the film is based on an upcoming book by Miami Herald staff writer Julie Brown.
Also coming from Lifetime, as per THR: With This Ring, about singletons vowing to get hitched. Executive produced by Gabrielle Union, the TV movie starts filming in August, ostensibly after the actress’ real life wedding to Dwyane Wade. When’s the honeymoon?
Lovely ladies alert at two private events: Venue mag will celebrate its muy VIP July/August cover party with Devious Maids star Roselyn Sánchez at an invitation-only event Wednesday evening at Cavalli Miami Restaurant & Lounge. The evening will kick off with a red carpet set up outside the SoFi spot; former RHOM Alexia Echevarria, Venue’s executive editor, will play hostess. On Thursday evening, Ocean Drive’s Swim Issue cover girl, Victoria’s Secret bombshell Erin Heatherton will be feted by the glossy magazine at Delano South Beach. We predict bikinis; don’t pray for rain.
HERE’S THE BEEF
Gimme A Burger is getting its 15 minutes. The restaurant, with locations in Pembroke Pines and Deerfield Beach, competed last year in a culinary contest in Las Vegas and now Fyi, a new network from A&E, is broadcasting an episode of the competition on World Food Championships, hosted by Food Network personality Jeffrey Saad and airing at 10 p.m. Thursday. You can get the Bacon Infused Burger featured on the show along with fries and drink at GAB for $8.95 Thursday through Sunday.