Any good restaurants in Miami Lakes?
Will be staying Friday night in Miami Lakes - heading there from Tampa for the state high school football championship game (go Panthers!) - and don't know that area at all. Miami, yes. Miami Lakes, nada. Any good restaurants in the area or is it a suburban wasteland of chains and food courts?
I work near Miami Lakes and it has been a challenge to find good food there to say the least. Over the past six years I've found food I'd eat for lunch, so please bear that in mind.
Michael's Thai has very good Thai food with a decent ambiance. On Ludlum just north of 826 in a strip mall.
Italy Today, in the Miami Lakes shopping mall has affordable Italian food without the fuss but still merits a mention. A large menu includes salads, pizzas, sandwiches and a long list of pastas and entrees. Definitely a bargain. Bring a sweater because the A/C will freeze you to death. The atmosphere is tolerable for lunch but I would say that it is not so cozy for an intimate dinner.
Shula's 2 is over-rated I think. A sports bar themed place but if you want steak, that's the ticket. They offer an optional buffet at lunch, not sure about dinner.
Cancun Grill does have delicious gringo Mexican and at lunch it's unbeatable for value. If you want to dig a little deeper, there is the small Los Magueyes (again in a strip mall) north of 826 off of Ludlum (67th - just west). Much more authentic but decidely informal and low-key. There are maybe 8 tables tops. Worth a visit.
If your taste ventures to the adventurous definitely check out Nicaraguan El Novillo, also in the Miami Lakes shopping center. More formal (and pricier) than others in the area, you can also eat more cheaply at lunch.
If you have ribs on the brain than visit Flanigan's, just south of Gratigny Parkway, west of Ludlum. Casual dining definitely but good ribs and burgers. Try their black beans and rice as an alternative to fries.
I like New Hong Kong City in Miami Lakes for Chinese, Sorrento for New York style pizza, Los Balkanes for Colombian (I'm addicted to their greasy chicharrones and their mondongo soup is flavorful), Michael's for Thai, Green Papaya for Vietnamese.
There's also a lot of good places you can try in nearby areas of Miami Gardens (i.e. Mahogany Grill for Southern style food), Hialeah (i.e. Polo Norte for Cuban style pizza), Hialeah Gardens, etc.