Varadero, Cuba, is a resort town on the Hicacos Peninsula, whose curled tip contains the northernmost point on the island. Best-known for its white-sand beaches, Varadero is probably name-checked here not as a culinary touchstone but to conjure all the associations of an idyllic getaway on the shore.
Montes de Oca makes pizza with the usual variety of toppings, in the fat-lipped, bready-crusted style I first encountered in the small Cuban enclave in Hudson County, New Jersey. Only in Miami, however, have I found a pizzaiolo who still offers banana pizza (personal size, $6.95) draped in mozzarella. On the menu it was fitted in, without special comment, between the mushroom and some other savory variety. To Cuban-Americans, banana pizza may seem unremarkable; to me, it had the appeal, and nearly the sweetness, of a warm breakfast pastry.
Montes de Oca
5421 S.W. 8th St. (at S.W. 52nd Ct.), Miami
(one of several Miami-Dade County locations)
(From an autumn 2012 visit)