his father cooking in the kitchen. The Estradas are Cubans
who migrated up from Miami. The restaurant specializes in
traditional Cuban cuisine, including Arroz con Pollo and
Paella, in a spacious, casual setting.
Just one block east on Port St. Lucie Boulevard is Pueblo
Viejo III, one of six Mexican restaurants owned by the
Rodriguez brothers, Carlos, Renee, Luis and Hector. Three
of the restaurants are in Port St. Lucie, two on Port St.
Lucie Boulevard and one in St. Lucie West. The brothers
opened their first restaurant in 1999, and because their
Mexican food has proven so
popular they’ve expanded to
Okeechobee, Jensen Beach
and Fort Pierce.
The Latin influence in Port
St. Lucie is visible in more
than restaurants, At Freshco,
an international supermarket
that has opened in several
former grocery store locations,
shoppers get more than
an Ethnic food section.
Throughout the stores,
Hispanic brands and specialty
food are displayed side by
side with traditional
The growth and prosperity
of Hispanic restaurants in the
city, all family owned and
operated, make it clear that
the Hispanic population
growth in St. Lucie County
has clearly outpaced both the
county and the city’s overall
According to 2006 census
data, the Hispanic population
has more than tripled in Port St.
Lucie since 2000. In fact, more
than 16 percent of those living in
the city are part of the diverse
range of Latin cultures with
roots inMexico, Puerto Rico,
South America, Cuba and other
parts of Latin America, compared
with 8 percent in 2000.
In St. Lucie County, total
population increased by 31
percent during those same
years, while the Hispanic population
grew by 126 percent.
Many Hispanics, including
restaurateurs like the Alarcons,
Estradas and Rodriguezes,
moved to Port St. Lucie to join
relatives already here, and
have established business and
roots of their own.
Even in an economic downturn,
these Latin businesses continue
to thrive. In fact, Mi Casita
has already leased the space
next door to expand the restaurant
by the end of summer.
Xavier Alejandro is the Latin crooner who entertains Saturday evening from 8 until midnight at Mi Casita.