hey folks just moved down from NYC and am digging around-so far havent been impressed by the produce(publix,whole foods) or fish-i would love good ideas for both -also looking for great restaurants of every ethnicity -please posts your favorites and i will browse the site-Thanks in advance -T
T, Miami has many good restaurants.
Here are some good treats:
El Pollo Inca (Peruvian) in Doral area,unforgettable "ceviche" and wonderful "lomo saltado". Cheap and excellent, not fancy.
Zeitoune, mediterranean, in Doral area, I love all appetizers and most dishes. Other mediterranean are Layali, Khouri,
Sushi Chef in Coral Way, very high quality sushi.
Moon in US1 in front of UM, excellent japanese & thai food at very reasonable prices.
Crepe Maker in Coconut Grove, delicious french crepes, very cheap.
Chocolate Fashion in C. Gables, moderate and good french food, desserts are delicious. Try the mango mousse or chocolate cake.
Tropical, high quality chinese food.
Delicias de Espana, very good spanish food, at moderate prices.
In Brickell you have Rosinella & Perricone, 2 excellent italian options.
Cafe Vialetto in C. Gables, more pricey but excellent food.
Best meat at Beef Eatery in Hollywood (argentinean), and very reasonable priced.
Good luck and bon apetite.
Produce at most of the chain markets is mediocre. Epicure on Miami Beach is good quality but VERY pricey and not very broad selection (on produce at least); Norman's Market in South Miami is great. Good quality seafood is also sometimes tough, oddly enough considering where we are. Captain Jim's in North Miami is good.
A few additions to the ethnic eats suggestions:
Japanese/Sushi - Matsuri in South Miami; Su Shin Izakaya in Coral Gables; Yakko San in North Miami (no sushi but excellent Japanese tapas-type dishes)
Thai - Tamarind on Normandy Island; I always used to like Bangkok City in South Miami but haven't been in ages.
Indian - Anokha in Coconut Grove is decent but pricey. Used to be a great place on Biscayne called Renaisa; it is gone but I believe the owners have started a new place near 163rd St. called Heelsha (haven't tried yet).
Greek - Maria's on Coral Way; Ouzo on Normandy Island.
Vietnamese - Miss Saigon in Coral Gables; it's not quite hard-core Vietnamese but it's good food.
Ethiopian - Sheba in Design District (30s-40s & Miami Ave.)
Mexican - not the best I've had, but among the better ones locally (IMO) is El Rancho Grande. One location off Lincoln Road, another near 71st St. I like their tacos al pastor and moles. Also Taco Max for tacos and burritos, on Biscayne near 79th St. (dodgy area). Great cochinita pibil.
There's a fish market downtown. The Casablanca fish market, 404 NW North River Drive. 305-371-4107 I'm pretty sure it's open daily.
Here we go
Best of Tri County Area:
Indian - India House just west of University on Oakland, tucked just behind (west of) the Lowes store
Thai - Panya Thai (in the former home of my old fav Hong Kong restaurant Macau) just to the west of the Ham 'n Eggery (nasty joint) and Krispy Kreme on 163rd and NE 6th
Dim Sum - gotta say Tropical (on Bird west of the palmetto) for the variety and daily availability....although sometimes I prefer Toa Toa in Lauderhill...I kind of enjoy the truly haughty staff :-)
Hong Kong food - Hong Kong City just N. of Commercial on the west side of 441
Very Authentic MEXICAN - Chapultepec on Hallandale Beach Blvd a few blocks west of Dixie Hwy on the North side of the street...nothing compares...(try the chilaquiles with salsa verde, ask for your eggs over easy and insist on some chorizo...one of my fav breakfasts) and consider yourself blessed if they have mole available (mama who cooks doesn't make it every day)
BEST PAD THAI - Heart Rock Sushi (yes, most sushi places in south florida are actually run by thais) in the gateway plaza us1 and sunrise in fort lauderdale
Best BBQ - tied between Tom Jenkins (cash only) on US1 south of broward blvd and the tunnel AND Charlie's BBQ on US1 just North of Sheridan (Charlies has an unbeleivable brisket sandwich, texas style and the sauce makes me want to slap grandma, but Charlie himself must do the cutting)
Italian - I'm convinced that since the closing of Il Tulipano on Biscayne in North Miami that there's no truly great italian in the area....prove me wrong if you can....I'm talking authentic grill-type italian not some manicotti and lasagna slinging pizza dumps or restaurants pretending to be something other
Pizza - the by-the-slice pizza at Tony the Pizza chef on A1A just north of Hallandale Beach Blvd, WHEN REHEATED, is almost as good as NY pizza, but not quite...the reheated part is important, as it lends the proper crispness to the crust....also the pies at Little Italy way out West on Oakland are pretty darned tasty
More to come........
We took on Tony the Pizza Chef two nights ago and went to actually pick it up as it is right around the corner. We were very disappointed:
The lady in the kitchen was smoking, did not wash her hands and tossed the pizza in the oven without any utensils or gloves on.
The price for two medium Pizzas to go was $40!!! The pizzas were ready and sitting there 15 minutes before they handed them over for us to take home.
Nothing is fresh, all toppings come out of cans. The taste was correspondingly mediocre. I can't really recommend this place...
Wow! I haven't been there in 2 years but am not surprised to read that the hygiene hasn't gotten better. The last time we were there they let me use the restroom in the back, that the staff uses. It was out of soap! I posted about this long ago, and won't be going back. And yes, that's the sink the employees use. (It might have been a one day thing, but still.)
I'll chime in with some of my fav's based on ethnicity:
Thai: I feel that there are a LOT of very solid Thai joints in Miami, but none are truly great (or at least consistently so)... and therefore I eat at the places that are more local to me (in the Shores).
Latin/South America: For upscale dining, there is not a better choice than Cacao in my opinion. Very very good food.
New American/French: My absolute favorite restaurant in Miami is Duo, located on S. Miami Ave. near Brickell.
Indian: The closing (then re-opening) of Renaisa right off of Biscayne (at 78th St.) has put a dent in our rotation. The new version isn't anywhere as close to as good.
Greek: Maria's on Coral Way is great and very warm/inviting.
We tried Renaisa again fairly recently for takeout. The new management clearly recognizes things went downhill after they got rid of the folks who went to Heelsha, and were telling me they brought in a new chef from northern India.
We had a lamb vindaloo, a chicken tikka (boneless breast done tandoori style) and a chicken tandoori (unfortunate bit of miscommunication when my wife ordered), and a mix of breads. The chicken tandoori (x2) was good but this is a tough one to mess up. The vindaloo was astonishingly hot. I am a big fan of spicy foods, and I know vindaloo is supposed to be spicy, and this was right up to my threshold. Breads were decent, they never travel particularly well when you do takeout. We will have to give it another chance and get a more varied order, but I still don't think it is quite up to the level before the change-over.
Would love to hear more about Duo. We haven't been and they don't have any sample menu on their website, though I've seen menus for wine-tasting dinners that look great.
What impresses me about Duo is the little details that seem to always be done right there. The really thin bread sticks they bring out in place of a bread bowl to begin with a white bean paste, the extra side of brussel sprouts, the depth of the wine list (which is incredible). A lot of places do the normal stuff well, but it takes it to another level when even the little extras are presented and created with a great deal of care.
Having said that, what is shocking about Duo, in talking with our servers there, is that they are apparently never that busy. I've mostly been there mid-week (on purpose), and its true that its a pretty large place (indoor and outdoor seating), but from what I've gathered you can walk right in and get a table almost any night of the week -- which makes me worried how long Duo will be an option.