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Restaurant near MIA needed

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I have a 4 hour layover at Miami Intl Airport and need a recommendation for a good restaurant nearby. I don't think I have enough time to head to South Beach like I originally hoped. When I called Table 8 for a reservation, they told me it might take 90 minutes by cab from the airport and that's going to cut it too close. Is there anything worthwhile closer to the airport? Thanks for all your help!

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  1. 90 minutes?? Not even close. 15 depending on the time of day and the cab driver..

    http://www.mapquest.com/directions/ma...

    1. 90 minutes from MIA to South Beach is absurd unless you're taking a rickshaw. 30-45 depending on traffic is more like it. If you're concerned about time, however, Coral Gables has an excellent concentration of good restaurants and is closer (10 - 20 minutes depending on traffic). Top suggestions -

      Ortanique - Nuevo Carribean.
      Graziano's - upscale Argentine parrillada. Excellent wine selection.
      Cacao - Nuevo Latino.
      Pascal's - upscale, semi-traditional French
      Su Shin - casual sushi.

      I'm sure others can add additional suggestions.

      -----
      Ortanique On the Mile
      278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

      Izkaya Japanese Restaurant
      159 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

      Graziano In the Gable
      394 Giralda Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33131

      Cacao 1737
      139 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

      Pascal's On Ponce
      2611 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134

      1 Reply
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Frodnesor, you're right on the money with your Coral Gables rec as an area and also for food. If it were up to me, I'd choose Ortanique.

      2. Hereford Grill is my best bet - it is very close to the airport (the cab should really be affordable), and it is a great steakhouse (I haven't heard a single complaint about it yet, and at the same time all I've heard were good things)! You won't find a restaurant of that caliber or higher closer to the airport. It is sort of hidden because it is in an office tower and it is not its own free standing restaurant. Don't miss it, there's a sign in front of the office tower you should see on the right side when going down Le Jeune from the airport.

        Hereford Grill
        782 NW 42nd Ave # 5
        Miami, FL 33126
        (305) 441-6505

        Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm

        1. http://www.herefordgrillmiami.com

          Hereford Grill also has a website (I wish it looked better), that shows the prices so you can see what's good and what's not.

          1. I misreported the hours... sorry.

            Hereford Grill's hours:

            Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
            Fri 11:30 a.m.-12:00 a.m.
            Sat 6:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.
            Sun 2:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

            1. you will want to leave the airport if you can as it has to be one of the most boring airports on earth. Awful shops, awful food, nothing but a starbucks, a cuban coffee bar, Sbarro and errrrrrrrr that might be it.

              8 Replies
              1. re: smartie

                Um... that is not true!

                MIA's shops were voted to be the best in the nation - even though the customer service was voted to be one of the worst if not the worst. I'm pleased with the affordability and the selection of shops at MIA - from low end to high end shops.

                As far as dining in the airport, name one airport that has great dining? Practically none, but La Carreta inside the airport does make MIA's airport better than most. I never had a bad meal at the La Carreta's cafeteria in the airport - they have plenty of options and food for your picking. I recommend skipping the breakfast there though - their lunch and dinner entrees are much better and it's a good way to sample Cuban food if you're not able to try Cuban anywhere else.

                1. re: mialebven

                  Voted by whom??? The Miami Airport Vendors Association? That can't be possible. I can think of any number of airports with better food, and some that you can get a downright good meal in. I had some great New Mexico style chile at Garduno's in Albuquerque. Dallas has a local BBQ joint, Dickie's, on-site, as well as half-way decent chains (Au Bon Pain, Popeye's - Popeye's is 3/4-decent as far as I'm concerned). O'Hare has a sit-down Wolfgang Puck place ... MIA doesn't even have a half-way decent food court anywhere.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Seriously, I didn't think we would have a MIA basher here - but then again most people don't like their own airports. But I'm a little dubious about how much you know of your own airport - you speak of "half-decent" chains and hailed them as a wonder that MIA doesn't even have even though MIA DOES have Au Bon Pain. And if you think Popeye's great, then maybe I would agree with you since the KFC in Atlanta's airport provided the WORST fried chicken I've ever had and I suppose any other chain would be of a consolation. And if you were going to give credit for another airport for having Popeye's, then why not give the same 3/4 credit to a Burger King? And the last time I've had Wolfgang Puck (outside of the airport, mind you), it was not worth the money - their pizza didn't impress.

                    Most airport showcase local restaurants like you've pointed out - and Miami's airport is not an exception. Give credit where it's due.

                    And on top of that, I was speaking of the shopping, not so much on the dining options. The dining options are going to expand anyways once the north terminal (in however many years it would take) and the south terminal (really soon) get completed.

                    1. re: mialebven

                      MIA is a horrible place to get something to eat. Have you ever even spent any time here? Or at ANY other US international airport? I flew over 300,000 miles in the last 3 years, and MIA definitely ranks last in terms of food, service and cleanliness. La Carreta/Versailles at the airport is so disgusting, even getting a colada there is an adventure. Although it is a sterling introduction to Miami, as the ladies who work here are legendarily rude. Stick to the Starbucks. Get a good coffee and sandwich from a clean environment. Have you ever looked at the buffet at La Carreta, or smelled that smell? It is a mess. Whenever I got out of security I always felt I was back at home when I could detect that rancid aroma. And if you read the survey, it is about 'retail' establishments, it is (purposely, it seems) ambiguous as to whether they include food establishments at all, so it is worthless. Au Bon Pain is barely passable. I have been burned both times by their bad coffee and greasy sandwiches. I'm not saying all airports have great food-but, COME ON! To say MIA is horrible is not bashing, but actually being kind!

                    2. re: Frodnesor

                      And as for the award that MIA received, the article precisely stated:

                      MIA's Retail Stores Ranked Number One in Customer Satisfaction
                      http://www.miami-airport.com/html/arc...

                      And it was rated nationally, not by any local "experts."

                      1. re: mialebven

                        In fairness, I don't think I have ever been to Terminals E-H which apparently have some new places. I'm usually flying American out of C, D or occasionally A. There is La Carreta before the gate in C or D. I think somewhere in A there's a Versailles sandwich stand. I did forget the Au Bon Pain, which is decent as chain fast food goes. Otherwise, it's pretty much dreck. I can tell you there is not a single good thing to eat once you cross security in either C or D.

                        Yes, I do think Popeye's is good fried chicken (and KFC, on the other hand, is quite bad). No, I don't give any credit for Burger King, which with the exception of the original chicken sandwich (a guilty pleasure) I think is simply a very slow method of suicide by obesity.

                        I can not think of a genuine food court anywhere in the entire airport - certainly none inside the security area. It's not high cuisine, but what's available in most airport food courts beats the petrified sandwiches and 12-hour-rotating-grill-roasted hotdogs that are your current options.

                    3. re: mialebven

                      I did not want this to be an argument and maybe I only know MIA from the international part of the airport. Let me tell you there is nothing at all to eat at the British Airways terminal except pizza and coffee. Virgin is no better. I am not American but from the UK and I can assure you that European airports are for the most part unbelievable these days with shopping to beat most malls, and dining to beat most main streets. I do live in the US now but I do not think that US airports are anything to boast about in terms of shopping and eating.

                    4. re: smartie

                      There was a La Carreta last time I visited MIA -- a local Cuban restaurant chain that I personally love, but it seems to get slagged on this board a lot by people who prefer other places like Versailles.

                    5. Thanks for all your recommendations. I'm considering Pascal's, but what about Red Fish Grill? Would that have more of a Miami "vibe"?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Michele531

                        Red Fish Grill has great atmosphere on Matheson Hammock but mediocre food and is also much further afield than the business center of Coral Gables.