Suggest us restaurants to try with 15 month old kid near Miami Beach
My wife and I are staying at the Fontainebleau suites in Miami Beach later this month and we're bringing along our 15 month old son.
We'll most likely rent a car to get around, so can you suggest some good restaurants that we can bring along the kid without breaking the bank?
We'd prefer very "authentic" places that aren't too fancy. We can try Cuban, Latin, American, fresh seafood, or anything that's a must-have for Miami.
PS. any good "organic" grocery stores nearby, since we have a kitchen in our suite to cook for the kid.
Well, I'm not local, but a couple of years ago we also stayed at the Fontainebleau (when it was owned by Hilton) with our just 2 year old. We really liked David's Cafe on Meridian down in South Beach - nothing fancy, but good homey Cuban, and accommodating towards the kiddo. Very reasonably priced as well. We ate quite a bit at the hotel - breakfasts and lunches especially - and found the food to be decent - the fruit plates were very good and popular with our son.
Honestly, in SOBE, I would stay on lincoln, that way you can walk around with the kid if he gets restless.
The kid will like cafeteria most probably. You may not be as thrilled, but they do certain things well -- burgers, their pork chop, and their mac & cheese (which is always at least good if inconsistent). The rest of their stuff (except breakfast and dessert which are consistent and are generally very good) is very hit or miss.
El Rancho Grande is decent mexican, not terribly expensive.
Davids is good but you have to sit inside, but it is close enough to lincoln to take the kid outside for a nice walk.
Sushi Samba is a very good choice, except that it might be too expensive for what you are looking for...
The above are some good suggestions - Sushi Samba is very pricey for what it is.
From Fontainebleau you can also go north toward the Normandy Circle area (71st St. on the Beach - Fontainebleau is around the 40s, South Beach starts at 17th) where there's a pretty interesting selection of restaurants:
Cafe Prima Pasta - Italian restaurant run by Argentines, fresh pastas, decent if unoriginal.
Ouzos' - pretty good Greek food, I especially like the grilled octopus.
Vacas Gordas - Argentine steak house; probably not the greatest, but it's pretty good, casual, and so a good place to take the little one.
Katana - sushi place where they serve on the little boats that float around on the water. Not the best sushi, but it's decent and the little one will love the boats (I still do too).
Tamarind - Thai place. Some people love this, I actually think Siam Bayshore (a little further west on the 71st St. Causeway) is better.
Rancho Grande - mentioned above, there is another location on 72nd St. We get takeout from there often.
For organic, the best place would probably be Wild Oats on Alton in South Beach. It's a bit of a hike but no problem with a rental.
The places mentioned by Frodnesor are close to your hotel. After a meal at any of them try Dolce Vitta for gelato. It's right on Normandy Circle and within walking distance of many of the restaurants above (Ouzo's, Vacas Gordas, Tamarind). Good gelatos and sorbets.
Lincoln Road is probably a good place to hang out as well, especially on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I go to brunch at Icebox right off of Lincoln Road quite often and see kids there all the time.
Nice call on Dolce Vita, best gelato in Miami.
For one uniquely Miami experience (at least unique within North America, I suppose), and particularly if you have a bit of a death wish, try the chivito sandwich at El Rey del Chivito ("El Rey" is the King in Spanish). A chivito is a Uruguyan specialty which is simply one of the most astonishing conglomerations of things that are bad for you ever assembled under one bun. Churrasco steak, bacon, ham, mozzarella cheese, a fried egg, mayo, peppers, lettuce... a decadent pleasure. They also do parrillada there but I've never had. It's on Collins Ave. right before 71st Street.