Frodnesor's Profile

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A month in MIA

For farmers' markets, Edible South Florida has a good map of them all:

http://ediblesouthflorida.com/farmers...

But keep in mind, season is sort of starting to wind up here (our South Florida growing season runs fall to spring and in the summers is much more limited). Some of these markets are much better than others - i.e., have actual local farmers rather than folks just buying wholesale stuff and redistributing it. Sometimes the better approach is to check the farmers themselves: Bee Heaven Farm, Little River Cooperative, Verde Farm and market are a few.

Visit Palacio de los Jugos for fresh fruit and steam-table Cuban food - the locations out west (Flagler or Coral Way) I think are best.

I like Garcia's for fresh grilled fish, La Camaronera even more for fresh fried seafood, the Cuban sandwiches at Luis Galindo's Latin American Cafe, the pan con lechon at Papo Llega y Pon, but for some really in depth coverage on comfort foods - and food trucks as well - you should read Burger Beast:

http://burgerbeast.com/

Note, however, that healthy and Cuban don't always go together so well.

The stretch of North Beach (i.e., around Collins Avenue in the 60s and 70s) is another fertile ground for exploring local flavors. You can find Peruvian (Cholo's Grill), Venezuelan (Moises Bakery), Cuban (Sazon), Uruguayan (Chivitoteca), Colombian (La Perrada de Edgar, Mi Colombia around the corner on 71s Street), Argentinian (Buenos Aires Bakery, Las Vacas Gordas) all within a few blocks.

date spots in miami?

Bazaar, especially in the back room (the white room not the black room in front) might be another good date place. Not exactly quiet and dark and intimate but it's a gorgeous room, cozy especially if you can get one of the couch-style seats, and very good food (though it's actually been ages since I've been, and I ought to fix that).

Raleigh (Restaurant Michael Schwartz) is another really pretty spot, either inside or outside. I think the food trails both MGFD and Cypress Room, but I've not had a bad meal there in a few visits.

date spots in miami?

I was thinking of the room as much as anything else with QM. I'd agree Cypress is more romantic than cool.

Drunken Dragon? I've not been.

date spots in miami?

Cypress Room in the Design District. Also very pricey but I think one of the most romantic dining rooms in Miami. I like 27 but it's very casual and not a "fancy" date place. MM74 in the Fontainebleau on the beach is dark and relatively intimate with good food. Recently went to the new Quality Meats in South Beach and really thought it was a gorgeous dining room (old Art Deco, restored and given a bit of a steakhouse feel) and we had a good meal if you're in the mood for something meaty.

Macchialina

I would eat at Macchialina 10x before Gabbiano. Escarole salad w preserved lemon, broccoli al cesare, house made porchetta, polenta w sausage ragu, spaghetti vongole are all better than anything I've ever eaten at Gabbiano, which I find to be pretty generic pedestrian food most notable for all the other stuff they bring to the table (bruschetta, parmesan, fried zucchini, etc.). To each his own I suppose.

Just a FYI, since the post you're responding to goes back to 2012 - Macchialina is no longer a Pubbelly restuarant, PB sold it to chef Michael Pirolo and GM Jen Chaefsky a year or so ago.

Miami Bachelorette weekend - need suggestions!

For the right atmosphere I'd see if you can buy out the 1930's Room at the Thompson Hotel (w food from Michelle Bernstein's Seagrape) - or they also have a nice space upstairs too. Seagrape also has a nice semi-private space in the main dining room of the restaurant, but its style is more 1950's. Quality Meats is in a nicely restored and updated Art Deco property and also has several private rooms if you want. Or maybe the Raleigh (with Restaurant Michael Schwartz). Go to the Regent Cocktail Club at the Gale for drinks. If you want to stay on property, the Fontainebleau has MM74 and Scarpetta (I haven't been to the latter since Nina Compton left but I'm sure it's still solid). I think Scarpetta has a couple private dining areas with water views, and the whole place has a sort of 1930's luxury cruise liner style to it. And if your girlfriends are up for it, Hakkasan dim sum brunch on Sunday would be a great call.

I've focused mostly on atmosphere and decor in response to your "Gatsby themed dinner" request but all of these places would be recommended on their food too.

2 Days in Berkeley

Thanks all for a lot of great feedback, much appreciated.

So, bumping Gather off the list, Ippuku probably remains in as 1 of 2 dinners, with Kiraku as a backup, and moving Comal up as a candidate for the other dinner, though I'm still intrigued by Tigerlily. Ajanta is tempting too. Corso also looks good, but strikes me a bit as more of a "good restaurant that happens to be in Berkeley" than a "good Berkeley restaurant" if that makes any sense (and I'm glad to be corrected if I'm off base).

Chengdu Style, Mount Everest and Jayakarta are strong contenders as lunch options, based both on comments and proximity to campus.

There may still be a side trip at some point to Vik's Chaat and nearby Cultured Pickle Shop.

Particularly with the limited time we have on this trip I think the focus will stay on Berkeley proper rather than Oakland, though if Frod Jr. chooses UC we may be visiting a lot more often ...

bouncepass - always glad to help on the Miami front, and thanks for the local analogies, very helpful.

tre2012 - "scion" is so much kinder than "spawn".

One more request: breakfast places? Close walking distance to campus is a plus. Good coffee and baked goods are a higher priority than full-blown breakfast plate type things. Already have PIQ and Cheese Board noted.

Looking for fresh mint leaves

That's surprising, they usually have fresh mint in the plastic clamshell packages at most Publixes. Which one did you try? There are 3 on South Beach alone (Alton & 5th, Dade Blvd., West Ave.) then there's another in North Beach (Collins & 68th), plus there's Whole Foods on Alton Rd., Fresh Market on West Ave., Epicure on Alton - between one of those I'm sure someone has fresh mint. If all else fails you can cut some from my garden.

2 Days in Berkeley

We will be heading to Berkeley for a couple days with a prospective UC student in tow. We'd like to do a couple dinners (the types of places parents might take their college age spawn while visiting) and a couple lunches that are more geared toward said spawn's impending student-level budget.

My short list thus far includes:
Dinners: Ippuku, Gather, Comal, Tigerlily.
Lunches: Chengdu Style, Vik's Chaat, Chaat Cafe, Mount Everest, Taste of the Himalayas, FinFine, Cafe Colucci, Jayakarta.

A few particular questions:
- Is there a menu for Ippuku online anywhere?
- From the menu, anyway, Gather seems an awful lot like a Bar Tartine clone. That's not necessarily the worst thing in the world, by any means. Is this just my imagination?
- Any word on Tigerlily? Can't find much on the board.

By way of some explanation, some of these names come from actual research and inquiry - others are just from looking at a Google Map and saying "I wonder if that's any good?"

I've booked a Sunday brunch reservation at Camino on the way out.

I'm not averse to other Oakland suggestions, and Commis is high on my list but for the difficulty of convincing the rest of the family to do a tasting menu. Also Hawker Fare, Ramen Shop, Plum and Haven, though we'd somewhat prefer trying to get some Berkeley flavor.

Went to café at Chez Panisse years ago and was disappointed, don't need to do that again.

1 Cuban Lunch: Versaille vs El Palacio de los Jugos

Yes on the chicharrones, get a batido of your favorite fruit, and otherwise, most stuff is set up steam table style, so the simple answer is, whatever looks good.

Has Michy's reopened?

It can get very pricey, with the fresh seafood flown in from the Mediterranean, but Estiatorio Milos can also be very good. To do it on a budget, get the $40 prix fixe "sunset" dinner (6:30-7:30, or Sunday 5pm to close) or the $25 3-course lunch (but you'll have to spring an extra $10 for the grilled octopus app).

If you liked Blue Collar, and are looking for something seafood-oriented, you should definitely consider Mignonette, an oyster bar / seafood place with the same chef as Blue Collar.

Possibly not geographically desirable, as it's up in North Miami, but I also like Kabobji. (I'm not suggesting it's worth the drive from the Gables while on vacation).

Hy Vong is an old time favorite for Vietnamese near Coral Gables. I haven't been in ages, have heard from others that it's still good. It's a sort of Europeanized style Vietnamese (but not fancy or frou frou). I was underwhelmed my last meal but it's been a long time.

BlackBrick in Midtown is my go to for Chinese these days. More of a contemporary place, not old school Chinese, with a grab bag of different regional styles but one of the few places in Miami you can catch a whiff of szechuan flavors.

But you will find stronger Chinese & Vietnamese options at home in NY than you will find in Miami.

Has Michy's reopened?

Seagrape has a really nice old, classy Miami 1950's feel to it and the menu is pretty veg / pescetarian friendly. It's not an overlong menu but between apps and mains there are probably a dozen and a half items that will work for you. Go to the 1930's Room in back for drinks too.

Has Michy's reopened?

Not yet but very recently saw a request for resumes for spots in the kitchen. Not likely to be open by next week though. However, Michelle does have Seagrape, open now in the Thompson Hotel in Mid-Beach.

3 nights in Miami

Good recs, unless you're coming from NY in which case you can get Lure and QM and JG at home.

You should also pop across the street to Taquiza for tacos at some point, and may want to consider adding The Dutch to the mix too (again, unless you're from NY).

Jeez, South Beach really is getting Sixth Borough feel to it, isn't it?

If you want something that's more Miami in flavor, 27, Pubbelly, Macchialina, Oolite should be on your list, and maybe a trip up to Mid-Beach for Seagrape. If you do that, go to the 1930s Room for drinks too.

Hottest Taco Joint in Miami

I went a couple weeks ago and it was mildly disappointing, though perhaps I had set my hopes too high. They did not have the duck carnitas tacos which is the first item on the menu and which I was particularly interested in trying. We tried the tacos al pastor and the cochinita pibil; both were fine but nothing exceptional about them. The pibil was sort of overwhelmed by some very fat strips of pickled onion. I like their tortillas, though not as much as those at Taquiza. Guacamole was weeping and watery. There are some other interesting tacos on the menu: charred octopus, quinoa "falafel," nopales. A slight bummer you have to order 2 of the same kind, restricts sampling.

Miami Markets: produce, fish, bakery?

I recall seeing a Luna Pasta on Biscayne in the 60s but could have sworn it closed some time ago.

Miami Markets: produce, fish, bakery?

A long time ago Laurenzo's was a regular stop for me but their quality control went downhill and I stopped going some time ago. Prepared stuff and pastas may still be fine.

Much closer to North Beach you can get nice fresh pasta from Mr. Pasta on Collins Ave. & 73rd.

Miami Markets: produce, fish, bakery?

On Saturdays there is a farmers market at Biscayne Boulevard and 64th Street. You'll find Little River Cooperative and a couple other actual farmers there, as well as a handful of other vendors with prepared foods (the smoked fish is good). There is also a "farmers market" on Normandy Circle right in North Beach on Saturdays, but I've never seen actual farmers or locally grown products there.

For a list of other farmers markets, check here:
http://localfoodsouthflorida.org/prod...
(not sure how frequently that's updated

)

Zak the Baker in Wynwood is an excellent bakery for hearty naturally leavened breads (note: closed Saturday, they keep kosher). If you're looking for a more French style bakery with croissants and the like, maybe try True Loaf in South Beach, or Buena Vista Deli near the Design District. There are also Argentine bakeries right in North Beach (Buenos Aires Bakery in particular), though I find they do better with the sweet stuff. I also like the Venezuelan empanadas at Moises Bakery a little further north on Collins Ave.

Proper Sausages in Miami Shores is a very good butcher, their in-house prepared sausages are all excellent, and you can also get some very good steaks, pork and poultry, all thoughtfully sourced. Not a huge selection, but what's there is always good. Proper Sausages also sometimes has some vegetables from Little River.

You can also get Uruguayan grass fed beef from Gaucho Ranch, which has a shop in the Upper East Side (around 72nd & NE 2nd Ave.) I've not been, but I don't think it's an actual butcher shop, everything is pre-packaged. There's also the Butcher Shop in Wynwood, a combination butcher shop and restaurant.

I've not been in some time, but there's Captain Jim's in North Miami for seafood. In the other direction towards downtown there's Casablanca. Though Triar in Hollywood says it's wholesale to the industry, I've heard folks say they do retail sales (you may have to call ahead to order).

For luxe stuff like caviar, Spanish jamon and various Russian sundries, there's Marky's on 79th Street. There's also a new place called Flavorish Market on Biscayne Blvd around 72nd St. - I only popped in when they first opened and they were still stocking up, but it looks intriguing.

There's also a decent Publix (as Publix goes) in North Beach, and a Whole Foods on Biscyayne Blvd. just south of 125th St.

Restaurant that serves Squash blossoms in Miami?

Vagabond Restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard has a squash blossom quesadilla on their brunch menu.

Seagrape, in the Thompson Hotel in Mid-Beach does them stuffed with a shrimp mousse over grits (a dish carried over from Michy's).

Verde, in the Perez Art Museum downtown, does a squash blossom pizza with zucchini and goat cheese.

Check Please South Florida

Nah. The whole premise of the show is the restaurants are selected by the guests, who are "ordinary people" (except when they do a food blogger episode, when they're not so normal). Lots of ordinary people have lousy taste, including some that appear on the show.

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

The restaurant at the Indian Creek Hotel (now called the Freehand) is called 27 Restaurant. The name is not exactly memorable, unfortunately. I've not been but have heard many good reports.

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

Blue Collar is in the Biscayne Inn at 67th & Collins. The Shalimar is a few blocks south.

The dogs at Edgar are nothing special, it's all about the toppings. Same can be said about a chivito sandwich at Chivitoteca.

Graziano's is a step above Vacas Gordas in quality and is probably best of breed among the Argentine parrilladas in town. The Coral Gables location is the one I go to, but I've been told the Bird Road location (the original) is even better. Graziano's also has a very solid and pretty reasonably priced wine selection.

I'm not sure Sazon is distinctively better than the Cuban places you'll find in Little Havana. I prefer it to Puerto Sagua, which I think is many visitors' favorite simply because it's in South Beach and hence convenient. But I have to confess that I often have trouble distinguishing among Cuban places other than that some places do certain dishes better than others. I like the pan con lechon at Enriquetas, the garbanzos fritos and vaca frita de pollo at Sazon, the Cuban sandwich at Luis Galindo's Latin American ...

A couple more places to add to your radar if they're not already on there: B&M Market on 79th St. Causeway for Caribbean (I like their curry goat) and LC Roti Shop in North Miami Gardens for great Trini doubles and rotis.

Should this vacationer from SF bother with Tropical Chinese?

No. Tropical is decent but given your options around SF, not worth a visit while on vacation. I think it's Taqueria Morelia you mean. I've not been, but suspect you can do better at any number of taquerias in the Mission.

Shorty's is a place whose reputation and longevity are better than the actual food. In Miami, I prefer Sparky's (downtown) for BBQ and prefer Blue Willy's up in Pompano even more (small sample size, but what I had was very good).

Given your interest in old school places, I might suggest Dairy Belle as an addition to your list, a streetside shack type place in Dania with good poutine and sandwiches (it's Quebecois).

Also around the North Beach neighborhood of Miami is a good opportunity to sample a wide swath of Latin American flavors. I see you've already got Moises Bakery on your list, but you could add Buenos Aires Bakery (Argentinian empanadas and churros), Cholo's Grill (Peruvian), Las Perradas de Edgar (Colombian hot dogs), Chivitoteca (Uruguayan sandwiches), Sazon (Cuban), plus Las Vacas Gordas around the corner for Argentinean parrillada, all pretty much in walking distance of each other.

For a little old and new at the same time, you might want to check out the Vagabond on Biscayne Boulevard around 73th Street. The Vagabond is a gorgeous old 50's era motel that's been pretty lovingly restored, and they've just opened a new restaurant inside with some very contemporary (and mostly, very good) food. Also nearby, in another old 50's motel, is Blue Collar, which has hearty, updated diner style food.

Another new restaurant that sort of feels like it has old bones is Mignonette, just up the street from the S&S Diner (just north of downtown). Oyster bar and seafood, and one of my favorite new places in Miami (and same chef/owner as Blue Collar).

Long weekend in Miami Beach coming up

Oolite hits the locavore and veg friendly buttons, Bazaar actually has a lot of veg friendly options, Indomania does a vegetarian rijsttafel, Maoz for fast food (falafel). Also Taquiza for something quick (huitlacoche tacos, rajas tacos, totopos with guacamole, elote).

I haven't been yet, but hear good things about 27 Restaurant in the Freehand, whose menu also has lots of vegetarian options, much with a local tilt. Matador Room (a new Jean-Georges place) is another I've not yet gotten too, but suspect you could put together a good vegetarian meal, menu is sort of in the spirit of his ABC Kitchen in NY.

Aventura, higher end.

Sage are the best bagels in town.

most vegan-friendly city in south Florida?

Others may be able to respond better than myself, but I'm not really convinced there's a "vegan scene" anywhere in South Florida. Having said that, I think Miami is becoming increasingly accommodating to vegan diners.

Off the top of my head, Choices Cafe, Jugofresh, Mi Vida Cafe, are all (I believe) entirely vegan. Basil Park in Sunny Isles has lots of vegan menu items. Green Gables Cafe in Coral Gables also. Oolite in South Beach recently rolled out a vegan tasting menu.

Seeking restaurant near the Adrienne Arsht Center

You've got a lot of good ones there. You could also add to your list:

La Latina - good areperia, relatively close by to Arsht and open till 5am on weekends. On NE 2nd Ave. across from Midtown.

Limon y Sabor - decent Peruvian on Biscayne, open til midnight.

gastroPod - check weekend hours for the Pod 2.0 in Wynwood.

If you're leaving Arsht at 10:30ish, by the time you get car and get out of there you are probably not going to make places around the Gables that close at 11.

Who Is Your Favorite Miami Food Blogger

(blushing) Thanks guys.

As TP notes, there's a column on the right side of FFT where I keep a reading list of other local blogs. I've been meaning to ask the same question, honestly, as I don't go actively searching for new blogs and have been curious if there's anything good I should add to the list.

(Note to Miami food bloggers: this is the perfect opportunity for some graceful self promotion ...)

A few that I do check out:

- http://burgerbeast.com/ I learned just what a valuable resource Burger Beast is when I was on the west coast of FL for a little weekend trip recently. The scope of his coverage - on the opposite coast from his usual turf - was pretty staggering: every slightly interesting looking hole in the wall I'd spot, he'd been to and written about. BB does a good job getting backstory and history on these places.

- http://eatwithyoureyesclosed.com/ is a fun read with some personality and good photo work.

- http://gastronautjones.blogspot.com/ - infrequent posts and home cooking, not restaurants, but always plenty interesting.

- http://www.chatchow.com/ Personally video isn't my thing (for some reason I just get annoyed watching videos on a computer screen), but I think ChatChow produces nice videos with chef profiles and interviews.

- http://www.miabites.com/ has several contributors and a variety of content and viewpoints - not just the garden variety press release regurgitation.

- http://www.meme.menu/# takes some nice photos but doesn't seem to have much content.

That Chowfather guy is a hack, tho. ;-

)

(edited to add: functioning links, hopefully)

South Beach with kids?

Taquiza is at 15th Street but only about a 10 minute walk from the Setai. Restaurant Michael Schwartz in the Raleigh is between 17th and 18th, even closer - and with lots of outdoor seating is fine with kids (we took a group ranging from under 10 to over 80 there and everyone was happy). The Dutch is closer still, only a block away, and as a hotel restaurant is accustomed to serving all ages.

Can anyone vouch for Sultan, the kebab place around 20th?

I haven't been to BLT Steakhouse in the Betsy in ages, though it was good when I was there. I also haven't eaten on the east end of Lincoln Road in ages, but you've got Rosinella and Paul Bakery both down that way, either of which would be easy with kids.

27

James Seyba is gone but Sasha Ariel (who had been at Zak the Baker) is in, and has been over there for a little while already. Assuming they get the permitting issues fixed it's still in good hands.