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Mar 22, 2007 11:35 AM

Kendall Area Recs Needed

My husband is scheduled for a business trip early April and will be based in, of all places, Kendall. Could it get any worse? I used to live in Fort Lauderdale years ago - so I'm all too aware that Kendall isn't a hot spot LOL (we live in NJ now).

I'm going to piggy-back some much needed vacation days into this trip, we're heading down to the Keys first for several days, but I intend to be with him a couple of days in Kendall before I leave him to his own devices and head home without him.

Any suggestions in the area for dinner? We'll be staying at the Marriott, and we'll have a car, so we can head into Miami proper or up further north - we have friends in Fort Lauderdale who we'll be seeing, although they might like meeting us in Miami for all I know, a night away from their kids.

Also, if you have any recs for the Key Largo, Islamorada areas, that would be great too. We haven't decided where we're staying yet, but it's one or the other.


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  1. Is it the Marriott by Dadeland mall? If you're on Sunset and (SW 72nd Street) about 97th Avenue, Thai Orchid is really good. For even better Thai (I am biased an old high school friend's parents own it) go to Bangkok City on Bird Road (AKA SW 40th Street.) It's about 72nd Avenue in a little shopping center. There used to be an I-Hop right next door. Don't know if it's still there or not.

    Not fancy, but in a Publix shopping center there is a place called New York, New York. It's pretty good for breakfast. The Cheesecake Factory is at Dadeland Mall (a chain, but at least they have a lot of choices) right across the street from the Marriott.

    Inside the Nordstrom at the mall is a Cafe Bistro. We sometimes eat at the one here in Tampa and it's okay for casual fare.

    If he drives up and down US1 (which is really close to his hotel) there are a lot of restaurants. As well as up and down SW 88th Street (AKA Kendall Drive.) There is no shortage of stuff.

    If you want to venture to Coconut Grove (also very close to your hotel) there are a lot of options from Cafe' Tu Tu Tango to Café Med to Hooters LOL. Chart House is also there and I find it quite overrated. We had a terrible meal there and it was the last try for us. No more going back there. Monty's Raw Bar is kind of fun -outdoors and the water.

    You really won't have any shortage of places. Is there something particular you want to try?

    1 Reply
    1. re: HeatherFL

      Yes, the one by Dadeland Mall. Thankfully for me because if it rains, the hotel runs a shuttle free of charge there LOL.

      The Thai suggestion is very appreciated - we love Thai food. I think we'll skip on the CF - we can get that anywhere, but in a pinch I guess we'd go.

      Going to the Grove would be a good idea. I'm so out of it as far as the food scene now because I lived there in the early 80's. I'm very into seafood but my husband is not. I'd eat at every raw bar I could if he'd let me but there wouldn't be much on his plate unfortunately. I guess if we could find a couple of more upscale places, that would be the best thing for us, although we don't mind doing good local strip mall type of places either (like the Thai you recommended).

      I'm very partial to good Mexican, if there is any around. We were live in NJ, there is very little decent Mexican anywhere, and I remember when I lived in Fort Lauderdale there were many good, cheap ones nearly everywhere.

      Thanks for all those you mentioned so far tho. I'm going to be on my own for lunches, so all of them would be useful anyway. BTW, I've heard great things in general about those Nordstrom cafes, we have one by us but I've never tried it so if I'm in the mall, I may finally get the chance :-)

    2. For driving to Miami proper, there are dozens of recent threads to help you. However, for your specific area, this thread might help the most:

      15 Replies
      1. re: Covert Ops

        La Carreta sounds fantastic, right up our alley. (I don't even need the English menu :-)

        Fuddruckers! You're making my heart sing!!! I have fond memories of those places.

        And Shorty's would make my husband's day.

        Great thread - thanks for the link!

        Hey! Are there any of those Wings & Things chains around anymore??? We don't have those buffalo chicken wing chains in the northeast. Now THERE'S something I really miss!

        1. re: sivyaleah

          Haha, that was me posting a lot in the other thread. I was born and grew up in Kendall, so I am extremely fond of La Carreta, Fuddruckers, and Shorty's. Rincon Argentino, the Argentinian steakhouse, is a real treat as well if you want to stay in Kendall but still splurge a little.

          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

            Thanks! My husband will be there all week and will appreciate all of the ones you mention that we don't get to!

            Are there any buffalo wing places around? I miss those places :-( We don't have them in the northeast, I remember them being really big when I lived there. Many of them had deep fried chicken livers - yummmmy!

          2. re: sivyaleah

            Yes! La Carreta! =) And my mom and dad LOVE Shorty's BBQ! I was only there once (no idea why, as I love BBQ) but it's really good!

            I am hard pressed to think of any places that serve good Mexican in Miami. There is a place I've heard of called On The Border Mexican Grill. It's on Kendall Drive (aka SW 88th Street) and I guess 122nd Ave or so. Here's a link to a list with the menus and etc. of a few Miami Mexican's restaurants:

            There are a lot of upscale places too. From Nobu to The Forge to Prime 112 (I haven't been to Prime 112, but love Nobu and The Forge) there are no shortage of places on South Beach... Wish, Blue Door and so on.

            A lot of people like Los Ranchos too!

            1. re: HeatherFL

              On the Border is a chain, right? If it is, we have then in NJ, they are pretty good for chain food.

              1. re: sivyaleah

                On the Border is a chain, pretty similar to Don Pablo's. I don't think the food is anything special, but Miami isn't a hotbed of great Mexican food. I happen to love Taco Rico Tex-Mex Cafe on U.S. 1 just north of LeJeune Road, in Coral Gables right near the University of Miami (and maybe 10-20 minutes from where you're staying at the Kendall Marriott). They have awesome burritos -- the biggest one is as long as your forearm and even thicker. Plenty of fresh salsas and other good stuff there too.

                Another option: Daily Bread for Middle Eastern food. You're closer to the location on U.S. 1 and about SW 120th Street, in the Dixie Belle Shoppes (unless they have changed the name). It's definitely past Suniland shopping center on U.S. 1 and SW 112th, but if you make it to SW 128th, you've gone too far. They have great stuff like fresh falafel sandwiches, and they are also a Middle Eastern grocery store with plenty of exotic and tasty snacks. They're right next door to a German grocery store too, that may also be a deli.

                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                  You are helping me more than you realize - all of our fav types of food. My husband will be doing fine once I leave him on his own :-) I guess the Kendall area isn't as much of a wasteland as it was when I lived in South Florida in the early 80's :-) Thank god for progress.

                2. re: sivyaleah

                  NO idea. LOL we used to go to El Torito before they closed it. Now I'm in Tampa and they have some good Mexican up here, but I don't remember having a lot of good Mexican in Miami.

              2. re: sivyaleah

                Y'know what I miss from South Florida? Chicken Kitchen -- now known as Natural Chicken Grill, I believe. I used to order from the one on Sunset Drive so much, I had the number memorized in college. (And gained quite a bit of weight from it.) None of those fancy preparations, thank you -- I'll take an Original Chop Chop with extra mustard curry sauce! :-D


                1. re: sivyaleah

                  There is a Wings & Things Restaurant on US 1 & about 200th St. it is close to Tony Roma's & Best Buy. Used to be very good, but haven't been in a long time. Wings best in town, even rated on restaurant reviews is Sports Grill at 10005 Sunset Drive. Yum. Best Mexican Food sorry is in Homestead, FL well worth the drive, El Toro Taco, very authentic, great atmosphere, you can bring in your own beer or wine in a cooler. Family owned forever. I miss El Torito too. Great Thai restaurant too is Sea Siam at US 1 & SW 128th Street, great service, food, even a great sushi selection. Bon Apetit'

                  1. re: cdesoto

                    Thanks for the wings recs! You can't imagine what that means to me :-)

                    1. re: sivyaleah

                      Holy cow, forgot there is a new mexican restaurant that opened about a year ago right across the highway from the Marriott. It is called Mexico Mio, small, great food. It is in the shopping center where For Eyes, Holighans, back in the corner. Well worth the visit. Have fun.

                    2. re: cdesoto

                      Sports Grill's wings aren't bad, but I don't know if they are the best in Miami. I remember liking them, but I don't have fond memories of "best wings ever!" It's a LOT more convenient to where the OP's husband is staying than Wings & Things in Perrine, however, and in a better area as well.

                      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                        Sports Grill's Wings are good...definately among the best in Dade. The Special Grilled Wings at SHuckers in North Bay Village give them a run for their money. Search 'Top Wings in FLA' for much more on that topic.

                        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                          Wow I moved away from Kendall 8 years ago (Sunset class of 86!). Seems the same places are still good as when I left...if only they would open a good Cuban place out here in Los Angeles. I need a good media noche. I loved sports grill especially teh really hot wings this is the place corner of 147th and 104th right?

                  2. Roasters & Toasters for Breakfast and lunch. Puccini & Pasta has good Italian at Dadeland mall. LanAsian is good and just north of kendall ave in the other shoppng center with targets et al. Redfish Grill on the Bay in Matheson Hammock park for seafood. Try jaguar if you make it to the Grove. Be sure to get their ceviche nuevo style!

                    1. Check further down the booard. I've listed our Upper Keys favorites often before.

                      1 Reply
                      1. I just came back from this area last night. I stayed at the Radisson/now Crowne Plaza on kendall. I had a great dinner at Rincon Argentina per recommendation from this board. Delicious steak, chimichurri sauce, and the service was very friendly and good. Highly recommend it. Thanks to everybody for recommending it to me.