So it's been just over half a year since my last post. I've been super busy since I finished the graduate scheme and began my new, dream role as a food brand manager. However, I haven't been too busy to stop eating and travelling so without further ado here is my restaurants review for Miami, USA.
***** Lagniappe House
3425 NE 2nd Ave
We met up with a friend in this very hipster restaurant. The entrance looks like an old fashioned living room but with a bar, and had a quirky band playing in it. We went out back, which was a massive yard full of mismatched tables, trees and adorable fairy lights that added to the cosy atmosphere in the dark night. Also in the yard is a fridge full of differently priced wrapped cooked meats and cheeses. You select the ones you want and they bring them to you sliced up on a big platter served with jam, bread and olives - heaven. It was so moreish I honestly can't remember much about the barbeque main course after that which I was too full for!
**** Jimmy'z Kitchen Wynwood
2700 N Miami Ave
This is a restaurant we found on a top ten list for the happ'ning Wynwood neighbourhood (which was strangely quiet when we were there, presumably because of a confirmed Zika case there a few days previously). The ambiance and decor was modest but the food had a very home made feel to it. I ordered a Puerto Rican dish called chicken mofongo which is like a big ball of steamed potato with other stuff in it, served on a bed of tasty sauce and meat. It was gloriously stodgy (which is a positive in my books as I like my food to be filling). I can´t wait to try more mofongos in the world to get some more perspective on it.
7971 Bird Rd #17
We stumbled upon this gem as we walked deliriously through the baking streets of Miami Beach. I was delighted to find a Peruvian restaurant and so we took a chance. In terms of choosing from the extensive menu, we stayed on the beaten path (or should I say, what I knew were crowd pleasers) and chose aji de gallina (chicken stew) and lomo saltado (beef stir fry). Neither dish disappointed us and they were served with aji (chili) so you could spice it up more if you wanted to. El Chalan is great, comforting Peruvian cuisine in American sized portions; we couldn't finish our plates even though we wanted to (and the waiter said those weren't even the smallest ones on the menu)! I just wish I could go back and try the seafood dishes next...
*** Cantina La Veinte
495 Brickell Ave
Now I feel guilty as when I put a three star in Miami, its not because its bad, in fact its still good. I just needed to elevate the previous restaurants as their food is on a next level. La Veinte is a super trendy Mexican restaurant with unexpected Great Gatsby-esque sophistication. The people in this place are clearly well off and the food is not cheap. Feeling rather poor in comparison, we stuck to ordering tortillas which came in those warm wicker baskets like Chinese pancakes do, a sizzling dish of fillings, and different chili sauces. If you want to eat flavourful high-quality Mexican food and listen to mariachis performing at the top of their lungs (rather than converse with your dinner date), then this lively hot spot is just the place for you!
** Bachour Bakery + Bistro
600 Brickell Ave
Again, not at all a bad place but rather on a scale relative to the other awesome places I went to in Miami - as a guidance, this place has 4.8 stars on Google Reviews! This is a small but chic bakery/cafe which covers off patisserie products as well as the light bunch occasion. I ordered the truffle bun (an omelette, in English muffin bread with some sort of sweet bacon spread at the bottom) which was delicious and I would recommend as an orgasmic breakfast. The bun does come with quite the price tag of $12 so it is not an everyday place, rather it is a little bit pretentious what with its granola bowls, lack of bagels and food served in jars instead of on plates.
** El Carajo
'2465 SW 17th Ave
Calling all wine lovers! This is your secret treasure trove for wine and tapas. I say secret because this tiny little restaurant is actually hidden in the depths of a gas station shop. But I don't drink wine so let's focus on the Spanish food. The arroz chorizo (chorizo rice) was commendably tasty, the empanada langostino (shrimp pasty) also good, whilst the patatas bravas uninspiring (although I do admittedly have a bit of beef with patatas bravas in general). I knocked a star off for location - this place is more or less in the middle of nowhere - but the rustic ambiance is quite cute and it's a hit with the wine crowd.
* La Sandwicherie
229 14th St, Miami Beach
This is not a restaurant as we discovered upon arrival but rather than open air stall that specialises in sub-style sandwiches (but more cold fillings than hot). Luckily, we managed to get seats at the counter to eat our food which was necessary as it was quite messy. I ordered the SoBe (short for South Beach) which was avocado, turkey and brief in abundance. On top of your sandwich you can also order a variety of salads. As usual I went a bit over the top and was therefore unable to close the sub. Instead I had eat salad with a fork then tackle the enormous sandwich. This place is best reserved for a filling lunch on the go when you are out and about in the Miami Beach area.
Hope you enjoyed this review, and please do try the top 3 places if you are ever in Miami. Hold tight for another review on attractions in Miami and the Caribbean!
- REVIEW: Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott