Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dr. Limon (Kendall)

Not a popular type of restaurant, Dr Limon is a ceviche bar and seafood restaurant located in Kendall.  For those of you that don't know what ceviche is, it is a seafood dish typically made up of raw fish cured in citrus juices and spiced with peppers.  Ceviche is known in Latin America, but mainly it is Peruvian.  Dr Limon is of Peruvian origin.  The owners run the restaurant very well.

Along with multiple types of ceviche, Dr Limon contains an assortment of seafood dishes.  There are also mny dishes made up of chicken and other spices, on top of some sort of flavored rice.  As for the ceviche dishes, my family and I ordered their most popular one, Remedio Casero, which was an assortment of raw fish cured in a hot lime pepper topped with fried corn.  We also ordered Arroz con Pollo which was very tasty.  A lot of their dishes were spicy and full of flavor.  Another one of their specialties are their fruit smoothies.  I ordered a mango strawberry passion fruit smoothie.

Thi restaurant is a little far from the Pinecrest area, but it is worth the drive.  I recommend coming with a large group so you can order "family style" and try a bunch of different dishes.  Although I see this place as more of a dinner restaurant, it is open for lunch too.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cafe Gigi (Midtown)

This little upscale cafe is located between Midtown and Wynwood. It features an Asian fusion menu with all sorts of dishes. Most dishes have an Asian sweet and spicy flavor.  This restaurant has different specials every day that are always great. The menu also has a lot of small plates that can be ordered for a table and shared. I recommend ordering a bunc of small plates and a few of the larger plates. There is also a separate sushi menu.

I've ate at this restaurant a few times. Cade Gigi is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I've tried their lunch and dinner and have been satisfied with both. Their Brussels spout plate and Fish Buns are my favorite. This is a cool, trendy place to eat at if you are ever in the area. The restaurant is somewhat small so I reccomend attending in a small group or the wait might be awhile. There is even a bar you can sit and eat at too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Apizza Brooklyn (Pinecrest)

This is my favorite Italian restaurant in town.  I eat dinner here about once every two weeks with my family.  This restaurant opened up a few years ago in the same shopping center as Five Guys.  It was an instant success.  I recommend eating here on a weekday before 7 pm because this restaurant gets very busy.  The seating area isn't very big so at times the wait can be up to two hours.

My favorite meal on the menu is the Chicken Parmesan.  It is a big portion and comes with a side salad and spaghetti with tomato sauce.  Their tomato sauce is noticeably homemade and tastes amazing.  Their prices are a bit on the expensive side, so if you don't want to have a big bill I suggest ordering one of their large pizzas.  They serve a variety of specialty pizzas all cooked in their brick oven right in front of you.  The owner is usually there and will even stop by your table to ask how everything is.  You can tell that him and his family are very invested in the restaurant.  I suggest trying this local small business out for dinner with your family.

Tacos and Tattoos (Kendall)

This family owned and operated Mexican restaurant features a tattoo shop atmosphere.  The inside is very dark and mysterious and has a grunge theme.  The waiters are young and hip looking people wearing all black.  The walls of this restaurant were all decked out in paintings that imitated tattoos.  It is a very trendy place to eat, preferably for dinner.

My mom and I decided to eat here this past week after hearing so many people rave about this place. The menu offers Mexican classics such as chips and salsa, tacos, and burritos.  I decided to try something different.  I ordered the Crispy Patacon which is a large fried plantain topped with fried queso fresco, salsa, lettuce, and a choice of protein; I chose chicken.  As for my mom, she ordered their Classic Burrito.  We ended up splitting our meals and loved the taste of both.

An interesting thing Tacos and Tattoos has to offer is a cup of honey on every table.  My mom and I asked the waiter about the honey and he explained that it can be put on all of their meals to lighten the spicy flavor.  We mixed it in our salsa and it was delicious.  I thought this place was very unique and really strayed away from a "typical" Mexican restaurant.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Glass & Vine (Coconut Grove)

This new trendy American bistro is located in the middle of Peacock park. It has been open for about a month and features a very unique menu. Before Glass & Vine opened, the actual restaurant used to be a glasshouse. The new restaurant kept some aspects of the glasshouse into their design to give the place a very cool atmosphere. There is a large outside deck with high top tables and there is seating inside with a large bar too.

Not many people know about this place since it is so new. I can tell that they are still working on a few touch ups within the menu. The menu contains a lot of small plates and appetizers so I ordered a wide range of items from the menu. One of my favorites was the seasoned pork tenderloin. My moms favorites were the roasted almonds and the roasted chicken.

This restaurant is in a very convenient location. It is in walking distance to CocoWalk and in the middle of a nice park. The servers were all friendly and the owner of the restaurant walks around to check up on all the tables and to introduce himself. I recommend stopping by this restaurant in the evening for dinner.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Coyo (Wynwood)

Located in the heart of Wynwood, Coyo is a taco bar specializing in authentic Mexican tacos of all kinds. They serve soft corn tortilla tacos of any meat of your choice. There are over 15 different taco styles you can choose from. Choices include meats such as: pork, chicken, steak, fish, shrimp, octopus, and even duck.

I've been to Coyo a few times this past year. On each occasion, I've tried a few different tacos each time. My favorite ones are the Pollo al Carbon and the Carne Asado. The atmosphere is also very cool. You enter, order your food, pay, and then sit down while they bring you your food. The prices are very reasonable too. I suggest visiting the Wynwood Walls after you go to Coyo to see the amazing murals and funky paintings that make Wynwood unique. The walls are located about a block or two down from Coyo.

On weekend nights, Coyo turns into a bar/club. There is a door in the back of the restaurant that enters into another room with a full bar and loud music. Although I have never been, I have heard great reviews. I reccomend eating at Coyo, and if old enough, visiting the bar in the hidden room behind it.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Flanigan's (Pinecrest)

You can never go wrong with Flanigan's.  I'm pretty sure everyone in the Pinecrest area has been here before.  It is a great place to go to dinner with your family or even to watch a sports game.  The atmosphere is very welcoming and the employees treat their customers well.  It's a nicer version of a sport's bar with a wide menu range.

My favorite thing on the menu is the Blackened Tilapia.  It is perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection.  All of the appetizers are also very tasty, especially the wings and tumbleweed.   I also like to go to Flanigan's on Mondays for Mexican Monday.  Here, you can buy a pitcher of any beverage and get a free large plate of cheesy nachos.  They have specials like that throughout the whole week.

The best part about Flanigan's is the prices, everything is affordable.  This is one of the few places you can get a Mahi Mahi dish for cheap.  I go to Flanigan's about once a week with my mom.  We like going after my Lacrosse games.  I recommend trying Flanigan's if you have never been.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pride & Joy (Wynwood)

Located off of N Miami Ave and 28th Street, Pride & Joy is an upscale barbecue restaurant that serves a wide range of barbecue dishes.  It is a "honky-tonk", which is a Southern style bar/restaurant that plays country music. The restaurant is very cute and decorative, there are picture and posters of famous singers all over the restaurant. The whole inside is rustic wood and the light fixtures are antique. Pride & Joy gives off a very fun and exciting vibe.

I eat at this restaurant often. Typically I go for lunch and order off the lunch special menu. I love the barbecue pulled pork sandwich. Sometimes I order the grilled wings too. All of the sides are amazing. They have Mac n cheese, sweet potato fries, buttered green beans, and delicious beer battered onion rings. My mom likes to order the Southern style salad, which is basically a Cobb salad with grilled chicken.

The workers and manager are very friendly and treat their customers well. Since my mom owns a bakery down the street, they personally know her and even sell her desserts there. I'm not sure if that's the reason why their service is so good, but most of the employees are very nice people. I recommend eating here for lunch. The prices are affordable and you get a good amount of food for your money.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

NaiYaRa (Miami Beach)

In close proximity to Lincoln Rd, NaiYaRa is an Asian Fusion restaurant that gives off a Bangkok feel.  I decided to eat here for my birthday this past Friday.  My family, friends, and I all loved it.  The menu was extremely unique and there were some pretty risky plates that I was skeptical to order.  The portions weren't that big so we ordered a few of each plate to feed all twelve of us.

We started off with some sushi roll appetizers.  We ordered a few spicy tuna and a few shrimp tempera rolls both with a twist that was out of the ordinary.  The tastes were spectacular.  My other favorite appetizer were the Sriracha chicken wings.  They were the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.  As for entrees, we ordered Pad Thai, Shrimp plates, Asian Style Steak, and Thai Dumplings.  My mom ordered a bunch of Thai Doughnuts
for the table to sing happy birthday to me.  The doughnuts were drenched in a banana nut sauce that melted in my mouth.  I would go back just for the doughnuts.

I would definitely consider this place a gourmet restaurant.  It is on the pricey side, but the food is very good quality and worth it.  I recommend eating here if you want to eat out in Miami and are willing to spend a little extra to get some great food.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Big Cheese (South Miami)

The Big Cheese is a local small business located in South Miami. This is an Italian restaurant with a full menu of pizza, pasta, and meat dishes. I have been going to the Big Cheese for awhile, especially as a young child. It is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the area. Not only is the pizza amazing, their chicken Parmesan is also very good.

I would definitely call this place a family restaurant. There are always families with children eating there. They have a very wide range of Italian food so there is always something on the menu that everyone likes. The prices are pretty reasonable too. The Big Cheese sponsors a lot of local sports teams and fundraisers. The owners are very involved in the community.

On Tuesday night, my whole lacrosse team and I went to eat there the night before our game the next day. All 30 of the girls were very satisfied. We had an abundance of garlic rolls and ordered a few pizzas. Some of the girls also orders some pasta dishes, such as chicken Alfredo and baked ziti. Overall, it was a hit. The servers were patient with all of us and our food came out quick. I would reccomend this to anyone who is looking for an Italian restaurant in the nearby area.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spring Chicken (Coral Gables)

New to the area, Spring Chicken is a Southern eatery specializing in fried chicken.  Although there are other locations in Miami, this location just opened last week in place of Miami's Best Pizza.  Their menu has a large variety of different ways to eat chicken.  They are most known for their fried chicken, however, you can choose the healthier route and order grilled chicken.  The atmosphere was very nice.  The restaurant was modern, clean, and welcoming.  All of the workers were very friendly and the food came out quick.

I went with a group of friends and we all tried to order a few different meals.  I ordered the "Country Club" which is a fried chicken breast on a potato bun with bacon, avocado, lettuce, pickles, and southern sauce on it.  As for sides, I ordered a side of waffle fries and mac-n-cheese.  Both were good, but I was slightly disappointed in the mac-n-cheese; it was not cheesy enough.  One of my friends ordered the Fried Chicken plate which was basically just a few different pieces of fried chicken.  This order came with a side of pickled watermelon, which was very tasty.  My other friend ordered the "Yard Bird" which was another sandwich similar to the one I ordered.  In replacement of the breast, it was a chicken thigh and it was also on a biscuit instead of a potato bun.

Overall, I would recommend trying Spring Chicken.  I was satisfied with the food and the prices were very reasonable.  Its suitable for any occasion or just for a day out to lunch.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

El Rey de las Fritas (Bird Rd)

     Located off of Bird Rd, El Rey de las Fritas is a must for anyone in the area. It's located right next to Bird Bowl and is a small little cafe with a to-go window. It is extremely authentic and is famous for their "Frita". By definition, a Frita is a Cuban sandwich made up of a seasoned ground beef and pork patty on Cuban bread topped with shoestring potatoes. It's definitely not the healthiest meal to eat, however, it is very delicious.
     I'm at pretty consecutive customer at El Rey de las Fritas. I've been going every few months for years now. It's one of my brother and my favorite.  It's a perfect place to eat at and pass time when you're waiting for your extremely long wait time to bowl.  The buzzer for Bird Bowl will even buzz if you're inside of the restaurant. They have a few other things on the menu, but I just don't see the point of not ordering a Frita, especially considering the place's name. The vibe when you walk in is very friendly and openning. To order, you have to speak Spanish(or at least try) or you can just point to the pictures on the wall. It's one of those places that prefers cash. However, most of the items on the menu are fairly cheap anyway.
     El Rey de las Fritas has the best Fritas in Miami, hands down. Once you try one you will be hooked! It's worth the drive, especially since you can bowl too.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cheesecake Factory (Kendall)

I know what you're thinking... "Cheesecake Factory?  Really?"  Well, I finally decided to get over my childhood fear of this place.  They have definitely stepped it up a notch from the last time I remember.  My mom and I met up with my friend and her mom when we got there.  Although we arrived around 6, there was still no wait.  The place is huge.  The weather was perfect with clear skies and a slight breeze, so we sat outside.  Our server was very friendly, but slightly slow moving.  I guess it wasn't her fault; the kitchen seemed to be somewhat backed up.            

          We started off with a few appetizers.  My mom and I ordered the Fried Mac-n-cheese Balls and our friends ordered the Avocado Spring Rolls.  Both of the meals were a hit.  The Mac-n-cheese balls were super cheesy and melted in our mouths.  The Vegetable Spring Rolls weren’t as good, but they were still scrumptious.  The warm avocado threw me off.  As for our entrees, we ordered two plates of the Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Romano.  The chicken was cooked to perfection and was super tender.  The Parmesan curst stuck to the chicken perfectly and tasted like a garlic Parmesan outer layer.  It came with two sides: creamy mashed potatoes and bean sprouts.
The overall experience was a hit.  I highly recommend eating at Cheesecake Factory for dinner, especially if you are with family.  It has a great atmosphere and is in the nearby area, located in Dadeland Mall.