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A weekend in Coconut Grove

Hi Jane,

I'd recommend Versailles for Cuban food. I wouldn't describe as the "best" Cuban restaurant in Miami, but it is authentic and consistently good. Also, the restaurant itself is an experience - it's a hive of activity with a great mix of locals and tourists. Not too far from the Sonesta either - about a 12 minute cab ride. Other Cuban restaurants I'd recommend are La Rosa and Islas Canarias.

For Spanish tapas just outside the Grove, I'd recommend Xixon - about a 15 minute cab ride from your hotel.

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Xixon
2101 SW 22 ST, Miami, FL 33145

Versailles Restaurant
3555 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

Islas Canarias Restaurant
285 NW 27th Ave Ste 1, Miami, FL 33125

La Rosa Restaurant
4041 NW 7th St, Miami, FL 33126

Road Trip from Atlanta to Tuscaloosa along I-20: Looking for great BBQ

Thanks for the replies so far. Bob Sykes looks good.

Sep 28, 2010
RVarg23 in Central South

Road Trip from Atlanta to Tuscaloosa along I-20: Looking for great BBQ

Hi everyone. I'll be driving from Atlanta, GA to Tuscaloosa, AL next weekend (Oct 1-3) and was hoping for some recommendations on great southern BBQ along I-20. Don't mind driving a few minutes off the highway, as long as it's worth the drive!

Also, any restaurants/bars worth checking out in Tuscaloosa? I'll be in town for the football game, so nothing fancy - looking for any memorable local spots.

Appreciate any input.

Sep 24, 2010
RVarg23 in Central South

Ideas for a 15-20 party dinner in Miami-Dade

Looking for ideas on an elegant, but affordable, restaurant in Miami-Dade (mainland, not the beach) to host a party of 15-20 people. This is a family event, with a mixture of young, middle aged and senior adults in the group. Doesn't need to the trendiest, but we'd like some vibe and atmosphere.

The budget is $50-60 person, including beverages/desserts/etc. We'd like a private or semi private area, but this isn't a must. I'm leaning toward Italian, Spanish or French cuisine, though I'm open to other suggestions.

Appreciate any help!

Key West Recommendations?

I just got back from Key West this weekend. For dinner, I would definitely recommend Cafe Marquesa. We were a big group, and everyone was impressed. The seafood was especially good.

For breakfast, I tried Banana Cafe and Blue Heaven. Banana Cafe is a French breakfast/lunch spot, and Blue Heaven is a Key West institution. Foodwise, both were really good, although if you twisted my arm I would go back to Banana Cafe. The scrambled eggs a la ratatouille were great.

Aug 04, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida

Best Bagels (SoFla)

Outrageous Bagels has a wide selection, and the bagels are very good. I also like Broadway Bagel on 137th and Kendall Dr...it's been there forever. Not quite as extensive a variety as Outrageous, but their "basic" bagels are top notch.

Food Recommendations in Miami

For beef, try "bistec de palomilla", a thin sirloin fried with onions and topped with parsley. "Bistec empanizado" is the same cut of beef, except that it's breaded. Also, "vaca frita", which is shredded flank steak fried with onions, garlic and lime juice. For chicken, "arroz con pollo" is a classic dish. It's a chicken and rice dish. But I would only order this at a restaurant if it's a special of the day. For pork, I like "masas de puerco", which are fried pork chunks. For fish, "bacalao" is codfish made in a tomato based sauce.

Obviously I'm missing a bunch of other "traditional" classics, but those are my favorites. Cuban sandwiches, with "mariquitas" (fried plantain chips) are great for lunch or a lite dinner. I always keep an eye for the specials of the day, and ask the waiters for any recommendations, since every restaurant has a couple of specialty dishes.

Jul 14, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida

MIA - Coral Gables Breakfast

La Palma restaurant off 37th avenue and Alhambra circle has a very nice, and relatively reasonable, buffet breakfast/brunch on the weekends. But I'm not sure if they offer it on the weekdays.

And if you want a simpler, traditional Spanish style breakfast, then go with the suggestion for Delicias de Espana. It is a little further, but if you have the time, worth it.

Jul 14, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida

Food Recommendations in Miami

For Cuban food, Las Culebrinas is your best bet in Coconut Grove. If you're willing to venture out a little, La Casita (40 ave. and SW 8th st.) and the famous Versailles (37th ave. and SW 8th street) are very good. My personal favorite, and a true "hole in the wall", is Islas Canarias (27th ave. and NW 7th st). All these restaurants are within 15 minutes from the Grove.

Jul 07, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida

Lunch in Gainesville

Copper Monkey has the best burger in town, in my humble opinion.

Jul 03, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida

Good Eats in Kendall?

Yes, that's the place. It's toward the back of the mall, so it's hard to notice.

Jul 03, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida

Good Eats in Kendall?

I was born, raised, and still reside in Kendall. I have to agree that, in general, the food choices in Kendall proper are mostly to chains and low price eateries. They're not bad, but it is a more limited dining experience. If you choose to venture just a little east to South Miami or to Coral Gables, you'll have a much bigger selection of restaurants outside of chains and such.

I believe the restaurant on Sunset and 100th ave. you're referring to is Cafe DiNotte. It's an excellent place (don't let the surrounding strip mall deter you). The risotto is a must, and they always have plenty of daily specials. Attentive service, and a nice wine selection. A good choice for the Kendall area.

Others I enjoy in Kendall are Rincon Argentino (great value on Kendall Dr and 77th ave, just as good as the original in Gables), Puerto Madera (very reasonable Argentine restaurant/market off 127th ave and Kendall Drive), Mike's Italian (great pizza and pasta on 137th ave and just south of Kendall Dr.), and Casavana(sp?) (Cuban place, just replaced Sergio's, but just as good, off 117th and Kendall in Town and Country Mall).

Jul 02, 2008
RVarg23 in Florida