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Jan 14, 2001 08:27 PM

SouthBeach/ArtDeco dining pointers?

  • b

My twin sister, who--despite my strong encouragement-- and due to computer phobia, won't post on chowhound, is going on an Art Deco tour of South Beach for four days next week, coming in from the snowy, cold Midwest. . Any suggestions I can pass on for breakfast, lunch, snacks, don't miss food? High end, headline restaurants aren't the only suggestions I'm looking for. But a great place to have a really good breakfast, a nonhigh-maintenance lunch or a place relax after a long tour, to chill and enjoy comfortable ambiance and GREAt food.

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  1. If you are in South Beach you definitely want to make your way to Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach (basically the same neighborhood)

    Long wait to get in the place, but you MUST go. Its right in the middle of stone crab season right now, go, go go!

    And of course if you plan on venturing out of the immediate area, Versailles for Cuban food on Calle Ocho in Miami.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Jason Perlow

      If you must eat at Joe's, do yourself a favor and avoid the really outrageous wait by doing what many locals do: get "To Go"

      1. re: Heidi

        Joe's seems pretty overpriced for what it is. Isn't there anyplace else down there that is more accessible with fresher product or is this truly the end all.

        I just returned from Miami last week. My recomendation roundup would definately include: Nemo for a less than traditional Sunday brunch, Front Porch Cafe on Ocean Drive(I think in the Betsy Ross) for relaxed atmosphere and amazing Granola Pancakes(ONLY if you like your pancakes heavy and enormous!) Balans on Lincoln Rd. has ultra-cheap yet stylish breakfast ,during the week when it's two bucks off you can get a whole breakfast for like 4 bucks with juice and coffee and sitting in the sun).

        For Lunch I love Paninoteca for Panini sandwiches and personal pizzas with local ingredients like shrimp or grouper. Also Tony's Sushi is the best Sushi I've had there although the service is lazy and the music overbearing. For a fun local experience go to the NewsCafe bring your people watching Sunglasses(Mike Tyson was lumbering around outside whiile I was there) order a Cuban Chicken Sandwich or the Middle Eastern Salad with their excellent Ice Coffee it's great!

        Go to Joffrey's on Lincoln Rd, get a cappucino and then take it next door to Parmalat for the best Gelato in South Beach and enjoy them on the tables outside.

        Avoid Spiga, the g8lf shrimp and grouper dish I had was tasty but the attitude there is heavier than the canneloni. The surliest waiter in town.


        1. re: Iron Frank

          Totally agree about Joe's -- although I thought it was quite yummy, heard it is a major tourist trap. I have heard better things about Monty's.

          Yuca on Lincoln Road is pretty good -- think Douglas Rodriguez is affiliated with this joint.

          I've heard good things about Sports Cafe on 5th Street or something like that, though I haven't been there.

          Tell your sister that she can't miss Pollo Tropical on Alton -- especially those yuca fries! One of the greatest fast food joints ever invented. Wish there was one in New York.

          1. re: Jen

            I have been eating @ Joes since the mid '60s when I was alittle one. I used to love Joes and made sure I would always go there. In fact about 10 yrs agao I flew down to Miami (from NYC) w/a pal and as soon as we got our car from the rental agency we were off to Joes for lunch. She was amazed and had never been there or been in the grasp of a chowhound madman. Alas, I no longer go to Joes. The first expansion of Joes was welcome and the food was still great. Now it's as if you are eating in a wearhouse and are treated the same way. Joes used to be moderate to inexpensive. I wrote about my experiences w/Joes last year about this time. I am i nmourning. Hell, my Dad lived across the street from Joes in the late '40's. I spent my 30th Bday there and my family used to use the Fedx service Joes started in the past 10 years. No mas. I hear they opened a branch in Chicago. What is the deal with that? Just the desire for monre $. I'm a capitalist but they are just going too far. If the food was still the same quality well one could excuse the crowds and costs (maybe) but no....

      2. re: Jason Perlow

        Thanks, Jason--while I wish it were me bopping into the sunshine, it's my twin sister. I'll be certain to pass along your yummy suggestions. Is Joe's Stone Crab also a chain (though I'd assume it started down south). I thought I'd see one here in metro Detroit, also in Chicago. In any case, I'll trust your decidedly discriminating judgment. I'll ask for a Miami report1

        1. re: berkleybabe

          Joe's is no chain. Joe's is the stone crab holy grail. There are other stone crab joints in the So. Fla. area (Monty's and Peter's to name two) but my friend (whose father was in the seafood business in Miami for years) and is very blunt when it comes to restaurants tells me that Joe's is the only one worth a damn, and he doesn't even think it's worth waiting in line for. So i've never tried it, but if you're going to try stone crabs, you might as well go to the mountaintop.

          Legal beagles might remember the case a few years ago in which Joe's female employees fought for and won the right to become servers at Joe's.

        2. re: Jason Perlow

          Tried the address and it didn't exist--am I typing in incorrectly? Used Tnx.

          1. re: berkleybabe

            thats definitely the correct url, but if you want to call the place:

            11 Washington Avenue
            Miami Beach, FL 33139

            11:30am-2:00 pm
            Friday and Saturday
            (305) 673-0365

        3. I hope I'm not too late. Just off the phone with hubby's very opinionated, very particular Aunt Georgene (fantastic Auntie Mame type), who resides in Miami for the winter months. Requested her top picks. She responded "the ones that have lasted". Meaning the restaurant at the Astor Hotel, Abraccio, & Osteria del Teatro( I'm not sure on the spelling of the last two). Versailles for Cuban. Said you must "do" Joe's, although she said she would never, never endure the extensive wait and only will go with someone who has an "in". Life's too short.