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Aug 22, 2007 03:37 PM

Miami Spice - Good Value for Money?

I just moved to Miami Beach from Brooklyn and am eager, although slightly apprehensive, to try all the restaurants down here. Can anyone recommend a Table d'Hote from Miami Spice? I'm looking for delicious food, good price and no cheesy pretentious cr----p.

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  1. i've had 3 good experiences with miami spice so far this year.Smith and wollensky lunch for $22 i had caesar salad(ask for the anchovies),filet mignon,and cheesecake.Best valued spice meal .Dinner at vix in victor hotel for $35 i chose ceviche appetizer and indian curry sampler for main course (comes with naan and basmati rice as well as condiment tray) along with dessert.Best indian meal i've had in south florida.Had a good lunch at setai where i had sum tom appetizer and pork belly on flatbread with caramalized onion and arugula then dessert for $22.I enjoyed these meals and would recommend them to you.

    10 Replies
    1. re: travlnmike

      Lots of discussion of Miami Spice here including link to the participating restaurants (which in turn has links to their Spice menus):

      Good value depends where you go, both as a factor of (1) whether the Spice meal actually represents a meaningful discount from their regular menu prices; and (2) whether the restaurant's taken the approach of simply putting out a menu with the lowest cost food items to them, or is really making an effort to provide customers something they like.

      I've only eaten at Vix once but I can't possibly believe they're making the best Indian in So Fl. Where else have you been? I had one incredibly overpriced mediocre meal there and have never gone back (though both Vix and Setai are good examples of places to try for Miami Spice since they are very pricey otherwise, at least the financial damage will be limited).

      I'd also recommend trying Ortanique, Talula, Michael's Genuine, China Grill (though if you're from NY you're probably already familiar), Table 8. As far as "good price", nice thing about Spice is you know the price going in.

      1. re: Frodnesor

        best spice value in my opinion is Tuscan Steak--they give you multiple signature dishes for the thirty five bucks! You can get the signature antipasto, signature gnocchi AND angel hair pasta WITH a choice of three main courses---I chose the skirt steak. best of all, the service was stellar and the staff actually offered the spice menu as opposed to those places that begrudgingly give you the menu only if you ask.

          1. re: Sobe

            I know Tuscan generally does "family style" portioning but have only been once and was in a large group. If you were to order the smaller order of the salad and the smaller size pasta from the regular menu, would it be enough for 2 to split as apps?

            If so, you could get a salad, a pasta, and a whole roasted chicken for $68 off the regular menu (or $34/head). I'm using the chicken because the skirt steak is not on the regular menu and I'm not sure of the portion size of the regular menu salmon.

            If you had 3 people, you could order the larger salad, larger pasta, and a 28 oz. fiorentina steak to split for $103.

            In other words, you're getting an (almost) free dessert.

            Not sure that's any better value than any other Spice menu, especially since a skirt steak is a much cheaper cut of meat than the t-bone used for the fiorentina.

            I suspect the formula adds up similarly for many other places. For instance, at Michael's Genuine you could get the panzanella, the pork shoulder and the chocolate cremoso off the regular menu at $40; $35 for Spice (and a very fine meal that would be!). If you really wanted to maximize bang for the buck, switch to the house salad and grouper and regular menu price goes up $3.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          I went to Vix last night and I happened to agree that it's possibly the best Indian I've tried in Miami. Maybe including Ft Lauderdale. And I have tried plenty. It was great starting from the naan bread to the main entree. Really great value for the Spice menu, when the curry entree along costs $39 on the menu.

          1. re: tarepanda

            Where else have you gone for Indian in Miami?

            1. re: Frodnesor

              Imlee, Anokha, House of India, Kabob, Renaisa, Lazeez and Punjab Place in Miami, Royal India, Woodlands, Himalaya, India House, Udipi, Little India, in Fort Lauderdale. Plus some that I don't have listed in my palm - found out about a place, tried it, so so, didn't save the info on my palm so I couldn't very remember all... And a few like Darbar, one on SW 137 ave and one on Biscayne and 130th or so that were closed already.

              I admit I haven't been to Heelsha and Raja's and they are quite very rated on this forum, I know.

              Which ones are your favorite?

              1. re: tarepanda

                As I said, I've also been generally underwhelmed by most local Indian places and have been to several on your list and also a couple of the closed ones you mentioned (was the place on Biscayne called New Delhi?)

                When were you at Renaisa (n/k/a "Taj Mahal")? I thought it was great when it was the Renaisa/Heelsha crew, then took a real dive, and lately has made a very solid comeback. I have not tried anywhere else recently.

                As for Vix, I'm just so baffled, really. I only had one meal there, but it was so disappointing. At least part of the disappointment was that everything sounded so great on the menu (other than the prices), but when it actually came out it was like the flavor had been surgically removed. I recall the best thing (and it was quite good) was the bread basket with a sampler of various Indian-inspired dips.

                Maybe I just ordered really poorly. Indeed, looking on the menu at the website, I recall ordering something described as "flat-iron roasted, dry-rubbed mussels with full-flavored tomato broth and garlic croustade." And indeed, out came mussels with a spicy harissa rub - on the outside of the shell. Umm, why would you "dry-rub" something with an inedible, impervious exterior?? Of course, a similar question could be asked - why would you order such a thing?? Not surprisingly, none of the flavor actually made it to the mussels. This was sort of symptomatic of our whole experience - everything sounded great on the menu, nothing lived up to expectations. The Indian choices on the Spice menu must follow the example of the bread plate and not the mussels.

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  Yes I believe New Dehli is the name!

                  Do the new Reneisa and Heelsha have buffet? I really like Indian buffet (vs say Japanese or Chinese buffet) I guess it's because many of the dishes may benefit rather than suffer from all the simmering... and I get to eat the bread and dessert too. Udipi is my favorite for the free mango lassi.

                  But with the mussel - honestly, if it's done right, you don't even have to dry rub it. A good cook knows that a bit of garlic, lime, wine and basic seasoning make the best mussels - if the mussels are good.

                  I would really suggest you give it a try now the Spice menu is available. honestly, I won't pay $39 for that Indian dish. I would rather get three Indian buffets at my neighborhood Indian joints.

                  Also, the night I visited there was an East Asian chef in the kitchen. If that gives you a bit more confidence.

                  1. re: tarepanda

                    I think Taj Mahal (Renaisa) does buffet lunch. The "dry rub" on the mussels was in retrospect pointless. It's pretty much physically impossible for it to add any taste to the mussels - just a silly idea. We will try to get to Vix for Spice.

      2. Miami Spice is fantastic, and I go to about one Spice place a week each time it rolls around.

        I must agree about Tuscan Steak - this is always one of the first places I go. I would definitely recommend the Palme D'Or at the Biltmore. I had a wonderful meal there, and I think they are first time Spicers.

        When Miami Spice is over in October, it's always a tough time at the gym...