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biscayne blvd eats

Since moving near the design district, I've made some pretty fantastic discoveries. My favorites:

1. Bin No. 18 - cobb salad to die for!!!!!! The service is also really great. They're on biscayne and 18

2. UVA 69 - creative specials of the day. Biscayne and 69

3. Andiamo pizza - biscayne and 54?

4. Hiro's sushi - ok, so its cheap, fast food sushi. BUT, I have to be honest - they pull it off unbelievably well. Try their new caterpillar roll. Biscayne and 40-something?

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  1. I got to say I like the Daily on Biscayne and 19th for Breakfast and Lunch.

    Obviously, Michy is the Queen of the Blvd since setting up her shop on +/- 69th?

    Dogma has filled a frank need...and I thought I saw another doggie joint down in the 20's or teens named Frankittude or some such name?

    Canela is pretty good too.

    3 Replies
      1. re: netmover

        I like the Daily too (I live in the building) but they're just *too* good - the wait times are absolutely ridiculous when they're busy!!

        I tried out Franktitude for lunch the other day (yeah, around the 20's) - it's not bad, but they're bread is a tad too chewy. And the fact that they call it "Franktitude" and not "Frankitude" really just happens to bother me. I'm sticking to Dogma.

        Good to hear you like Canela... been wanting to try it out, but I always end up at Hiro's right next to it.

        Have you guys eating at Spyro? I love it! They have some guy playing the piano during dinner most nights I believe. Sad to see they're never busy (at least when I go)

        1. re: ellynet

          I love the Daily..but you are right...way too much wait.
          try S&S Diner...it's the district hidden gem for feel good breakfast...Sundays the wait could be endless..be prepared to sit next to Jack Nickolson or the bum from your corridor, Great vibe..I feel like im in NY :)

      2. Waiting for the verdict on Red Light.

        Le Glacier isn't bad for basic bistro type food.

        The only bump in the road is Ver Daddy's taco place. I wish it'd go away.

        6 Replies
        1. re: lax2mia

          Do you really think that Red Light will be worth the wait LAX? Aside from the Panniotecca (sic) what has this chef done that's worthy? Which btw is your basic sammie shoppe with an Italian twist.

          Glacier is decent...and I have heard good things about Casa Toscana too.

          1. re: netmover

            I am hopeful that Red Light will be worth the wait. Kris Wessel is the guy behind Red Light. He did Liaison on Espanola and Elia at Bal Harbour. I don't believe he had an association with Paninoteca.

            Any word on the sushi place opening next to Bin or the Bengali place on 21st and Biscayne? I'm hungry.

            1. re: chocolada

              I'm 99.9% certain that he owned/started Paninoteca.

              1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                Yup, you're right. He is/was an original partner.

          2. re: lax2mia

            What bothers me about Red Light. Its not consistent, the service is also not consistent. Not only do the dishes come out different from one day to the next but Ive arrived at opening and the door isn't even open, waiters not there and after 10 min ur given an excuse no ones showed up for work. Other days you'll sit for 20 min without anyone asking you if you care for something to drink...it's a bit TOO laid back to tell you the truth. Im glad they've survived this long but I don't know how they do it.

            Should you go try the appetizers, they are the best. Ox with figs, mussels, shrimp (dont do the ribs, chewy)

            1. re: District_foodie

              They have some on the staff that are great and some that are just awful...the valet guy is a complete jerk...But the food makes up for it IMO. Every time we go it is better. Last week we had some incredible oxtail and a whole snapper there. Delicioso... we are big fans of this guy...

          3. Canela Cafe - good if somewhat untraditional tapas and Cuban food, sort of funky place, Biscayne & 50th.

            Casa Toscana - pretty good Italian, charming hostess/owner, decent wines, Biscayne around 70th.

            If you're willing to venture around the corner at 79th St ->

            Renaisa - very good Indian food in a sort of hole-in-the-wall space on 78th.

            Boteco - casual Brazilian place, great feijoada lunch first Saturday of the month, cheap capirinhas, south side of 79th between Biscayne and the causeway.

            Schnitzel Haus - decent German food in a cozy little spot on north side of 79th just before the causeway

            Magnum Lounge - nice classy continental fare, and also great burgers, in a dark, loung-y piano bar on north side of 79th.

            Captain Crab's takeaway - just before the causeway on the south side of 79th Street - I like the fried catfish sandwiches, their greasy conch fritters, and picking at some garlic crabs.

            As for Red Light - Kris Wessel's former places, Liaison and Elia, are both places that I kicked myself for not having gone to more often before they closed. I believe he's originally from New Orleans or at least spent some time there, and Liaison did some very nice updated NO-style food. Elia had a similar approach to Mediterranean food and was also quite good. Both were in somewhat tough spots - Liaison in an odd, big space on the west end of Espanola, past all the foot traffic; Elia in Bal Harbour in the cursed spot across from Carpaccio. That space in the Motel Blu seems challenging as well, hope this one works.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Frodnesor

              Frod, I think if he were so revered, one of those places would've made it. And Motel Blu's location may be just the excuse this "paninni chef" will fall back on when the inevitable occurs there too? We'll have to wait and see. I have low expectations, but I have only had his Paninnis...perhaps he exceeds all our expectations and the wierdly laid out place flys in spite of his failed past? Time will tell, I am shocked he's not open yet!

              1. re: netmover

                Net, why so down on the place before it even opens? Seems to me that lots of good chefs with good restaurants have not succeeded in this town. I remember when Johnny V opened a casual spot years ago. The food was fantastic but the place flatlined anyway.

                I think the Motel Blu is an inspired though untraditional site for a restaurant. It's a gutsy move.

                As for not yet having opened...ever try to open a resto in Miami? It's no cakewalk. Permitting in this city is a nightmare.

                1. re: netmover

                  Net -

                  Many very good restaurants fail for reasons other than the quality of the food. Location is certainly one - and this was possibly even more true 10 or even 5 years ago. Wessel is far more than a "panini chef" but if you never tried either Liaison or Elia then it's understandable why you're not - like I am - excited for this place to open.

                  1. re: netmover

                    Come on net, haven't we been throught this before? How many great, independent restaurants have prematurely closed in Miami because of lack of local support? La Broche anyone? I loved Liason but it was gone in a flash.

                    And just to tell you about the character of the owner, he had a booth at the very first Grand Tasting of the South Beach Wine and Food festival even though Liason had recently closed. Sure the guy probably had paid for the booth, but why go through with it and spend $ on food for a place that was no longer around? I guess he still wanted to get his name out there.

                    1. re: netmover

                      Kris Wessel didn't own Elia -- and the owner had.. uhm.. issues that forced him out of business that had nothing to do with the quality of food at the restaurant.

                      Liaison apparently had a curse -- shortly after Kris opened, the city announced what would be an 12-24 month construction project that kept the road, Española Way, blocked in front of the restaurant.

                      If you''d ever had Kris' food -- you'd understand that he has a stellar gift for flavor. But, please, if you're going to be so negative -- don't go and waste the space - -there are many of us who will cherish the seat you don't take. :o

                      Oh, and as a tidbit of local chef history: Michelle Bernstein of Michy's worked under Kris Wessel when he headed up the kitchen at Mark's Place.

                      1. re: karmalaw

                        karma,

                        You seem to know a lot about Kris. But can you answer the $64K question: When's Red Light opening!?

                        1. re: lax2mia

                          as soon as the temporary liquor license is approved -- which should be imminent...

                      2. re: netmover

                        WOW, well excuuuuse me! Was I really that negative? Most of what I said was followed by a question mark. Jeez...

                        Alright...I will wait to see what becomes of this revered chef and his Red Light before passing judgement. I was simply curious as to why he was so well regarded by you all.

                        Construction delays are part of the game, no doubt. Having never tried any of the other places, other than panniniotecca (or whatever it's called) it's easy to understand why I don't "get" what all the fuss is about. If Michy was his understudy at Mark's that's good enough for me. Again, we'll have to wait and see.

                        The good thing is it's another reason to traverse Biscayne Blvd and should be a welcome addition to what was once the HO HWAY of the south... whoops, did I just say that? 4-get-a-bow-tit!

                    2. elly,

                      Have you tried the pulled pork cuban sandwich at Bin 18? Just wondering since Fernandez from the Herald named it one of his best "bites" of 2007. Also would like to know if you ever tried Ver Daddy's what your thoughts are.

                      Thanks

                      29 Replies
                      1. re: eatnbmerry

                        Kingdom for wings and burgers...67th(?)
                        Pineapple Blossom for tea...81st
                        Filipino Food Market...87th-88th-it's a grocery store, but they also cook-ask for pancit and adobo
                        Daily-try the MAP Sandwich-egg salad, bacon, lettuce, tomato

                        1. re: Miami Danny

                          Does anyone know if Red Light is going to have a full liqour selection or just beer and wine?

                          1. re: sanman

                            full liquor -- that's why the license is taking a bit longer -- and some of the other permitting is still to be done... all soon though.. very soon.

                            1. re: karmalaw

                              If you drive by you can see that they've got the bar fully stocked and ready to go.

                                1. re: jessierandall

                                  Haven't tried. I've heard some good things though.

                          2. re: Miami Danny

                            Not sure why, but that strip of Biscayne from about 80th to 60th always seems a little dead to me, and some of the restaurants seem, dare I say, a little sketchy? I drive by there daily, usually in the middle of the day and the construction doesn't seem to help.

                            Nice to know that some of those places (kingdom, pineapple blossom) are actually decent! I'll have to give them a try. Has anyone been to that pizza place, I think its called Soprano's, around 70th and biscayne?

                            1. re: jessicam29

                              Be brave! The neighborhood is actually much improved over the past couple years, though north of 79th especially still can seem pretty dodgy. Especially during daylight hours, the stretch around the high 60's and low 70's can be downright pleasant. What's particularly nice is that these are real neighborhood places, and folks are generally pretty friendly.

                              Che Soprano in the tiny little house is a sister restaurant to a place near Normandy Circle. We get takeout from the Normandy Circle one often. Argentine/Italian place. Their pizza is reasonably good, as are the empanadas. Fugazza, an Argentinian white pizza w/ sauteed onion, ham & mozzarella, ain't all bad. I've also gotten a lomito sandwich, which is sort of like a Uruguyan chivito - steak sandwich topped w/ ham, mozzarella, fried egg, lettuce & tomato (not recommended by your cardiologist). Nothing is fantastic but it's not bad either. FWIW, it's our usual pizza delivery place.

                              I popped in on the Biscayne Blvd. location once and sadly it was empty.

                                1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                  We'd seen the Biscayne restaurant closed Saturday night and were wondering why. Totally senseless.

                              1. re: jessicam29

                                Dead? Sketchy? If you're looking for Cocowalk you're not going to find it on Biscayne. And all the way from 80th to 60th you're calling it dead, but that stretch holds Michy's, Uva, Dogma, Wine 69, etc. It has more action than most of US1 further south. Is this the same Biscayne Blvd.? And the construction from 60 to at least 70th has been done for a while. Give some of these places a try (except Ver Daddy's, avoid Ver Daddy's).

                                1. re: lax2mia

                                  That area of Biscayne is a recent disovery for me. I am not "looking for Cocowalk", just merely commenting on the fact that I see plenty of shops and restaurants there that look empty when I happen to drive by. It just seems sad to me that all these businesses are popping up in that area but I don't see how they stay afload. I also don't see parking readily available in that area. Just not used to it, I guess. Maybe its bustling on the weekends when I don't drive through there.

                                  Now I know that Kingdom is a good neighborhood place to have wings and beer, and Che Soprano has decent pizza.

                                  Any word on Moonchine? Also, what does Pineapple Blossom offer? Is their tea selection any good?

                                  1. re: jessicam29

                                    Michy's is packed every night of the week. Soyka's and the rest of the 55th Street complex (Sushi Siam, Andiamo) are steadily busy and have been so for years, even though the food's not that great (Andiamo's pizza is OK). Canela Cafe seems to always have a crowd, Uva seems to generally be doing OK, as is Dogma (closes early in the evening), as is Kingdom, Casa Toscana ... Other places are slow - Moonchine, Che Soprano, Sushi Square, Le Glacier definitely seem pretty quiet.

                                    But that's always the nature of the restaurant business - many places fail. The good news is that these places presumably have much lower rents than they would get elsewhere and thus have a little more "room for error".

                                    Most of these places have parking on the side street or behind their buildings (for instance, Kingdom uses the parking lot behind the building, which is clearly marked if you go up the side street just south of it).

                                    As for Pineapple Blossom, I haven't tried, but here's some links ->
                                    http://www.pineappleblossom.com/
                                    http://southflorida.menupages.com/res...

                                    1. re: jessicam29

                                      Only tried Moonchine once. It's a sister restaurant to Indochine in Brickell. If you've been to that one the menus are almost identical.

                                      You're right, depending on the time of day it could look a little dead, but those times are early morning and probably early (home commute time) then later evening (when everything shuts down). Frod's post is pretty informative and indicative of what's there and what's open when. As for rumors of upcoming places, I'd heard a while ago that Balans (same as on Lincoln Rd) was going to build a cafe/bookstore in an empty lot. Lot is still empty, but at least there's now a covered fence around it.

                                        1. re: mialebven

                                          I thought it was where Jenny's is?

                                        2. re: lax2mia

                                          L2M -

                                          You apparently had good info. The construction at around 65th & Biscayne on the east side now has a sign up for Balans Restaurant and Residences.

                                  2. re: Miami Danny

                                    I tried finding Kingdom last night and failed miserably. I know my eyes are getting bad and it was dark and people in typical Miami style started honking but didn't see on 67th? Is it in a building/motel? A sign at least?

                                    Thanks.

                                    1. re: eatnbmerry

                                      It may not have been your fault. Kingdom has odd hours and opens and closes randomly. It could very well have been shuttered when you drove by.

                                      It's on the west side of Biscayne around 67th. Look for a large, pink building with a flower shop and barber shop. Kingdom is the last storefront to the right if you're facing the building. There's a sign that looks a little medieval.
                                      If you're traveling north and hit the BP you've gone too far. If travelling south, keep an eye out after you pass the BP.

                                      1. re: lax2mia

                                        TY!

                                        I swear I thought I was going nuts. They were probably shuttered like you say (or my eyes are worse than I thought). Will try during the daytime next.

                                        1. re: eatnbmerry

                                          I don't know if it helps, but on the second floor there's a floral store. It's a two storied building - not a motel, condo, or anything like that.

                                          1. re: mialebven

                                            Ty Mia,

                                            I guess I am just a blind hound without my nose and/or tastebuds to guide me! But the burger is worth a second try right?

                                            1. re: eatnbmerry

                                              The burger I had was a little too blackened on the outside, but I'm thinking it was a little gaffe on their part. Overall though, the burgers are high quality and worth returning for.

                                              I went to Al Carbon on Coral Way the other day and I saw burgers being served to patrons. It reminded me a lot of Kingdom's burgers, at least by looks (either that or I didn't get a good look). Could anyone do me a favor and let me know if the burgers are similar?

                                              1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                A surefire way to know if they're open is during a football game. Seeing as there are only three left those are three definite opening times! Otherwise they're randomly open for lunch weekdays and Saturdays. Only time I've seen them open on a Sunday it's for a game.

                                                1. re: lax2mia

                                                  Intriguing. Almost sounds like a dive kinda place. In a good way, top notch burger with some devil may care tude to boot! Can't wait to try after I Find of course.

                                                  1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                    I think I would have to say Kingdom is more of a sports bar slash burger joint, not just a stand-alone burger joint that cares nothing about sports. But it's a worthy find, and it's probably open for happy hour too, since I've went in the afternoon.

                                    2. re: eatnbmerry

                                      all the food there is fantastic. My wife dreams of it sometimes. I'm not so obsessed, but it's quite good

                                    3. Michy's. Dined there last weekend. It's like tapas, so you can order 1/2 portions. The food and service are excellent.

                                      19 Replies
                                      1. re: LifeisGood58

                                        Arguing about Red Light is perfectly normal, NM. The food will speak for itself. Apparently kris wessel's claim to fame now is that he bumped hips with Michelle Bernstein. LOL. Let's see what happens, and hope he's at least as good as the celebrity chef down the street at Ver Daddy's.

                                        1. re: Miami Danny

                                          *His* claim to fame has nothing to do with Michelle Bernstein.. He was a noted young chef long before she was.. and remained noted to those who knew food and where to find him.

                                          1. re: karmalaw

                                            Looks like we'll just have to wait and see if he's got good karma this time around. If the past is a predictor of the future, he's definately got an uphill battle! The place could just be cool and funky enough to make a splash, and if his food is as good as everyone says, he may be around for some time to come. That cajun thing has yet to be embraced in this town, so it'll be interesting to see how much he draws from his homeland, if at all. What were his stand out dishes in the other places? Anything you'd call signature?

                                            1. re: netmover

                                              This was all before my time here so I never tasted his cooking. But others have been impressed by his ..“signature creativity” .
                                              http://www.jamesbeard.org/events/2004...

                                              1. re: 2top

                                                wow, thanks for the schooling twotop! Great link. That's some serious accolades from some serious critics...let us see what this guy can do in his new digs. One thing I know for sure is he won't be regurgetating some Greek dude's idea of Med cuisine. He seems to have carte blanche here and will instill his very own version of haute cuisine. I have been through the space (it's been a while now) and must say, he'll have some logistical obstacles to overcome ala Mundo(by Norman Van Aken) whereby it's not really a traditional sapce with a contiguous dining room and the kitchen in the back...or so it seemed way back when I snuck thru there.

                                                1. re: netmover

                                                  From a story I read a few months ago it certainly sounds like an unusual space. It seems that front room has space for less than a dozen tables and a bar, and that he was going to do a lot of outdoor seating along the little river there (which seems like it would have to be on a different level). Gonna be interesting.

                                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                                    The space is unusual.. and the first time I saw it, all I could think of was -- "I want to have my sunday brunch at one of the river-front tables and watch the manatees swim by". And damnit, that's just what I'm going to do, too.

                                                    1. re: karmalaw

                                                      That's if you can stand the smell...is it a river or a sesspool canal? I think you're more likely to see bodies floating by...:-) ok I'll STOP!

                                                  2. re: netmover

                                                    Lee Klein and Lyn Farmer. Jen Karetnick-yes, 'serious critics' all. Not one word about his food, oddly. 'Restaurant on the rise..." which immediately closed. His 'signature creativity' is a phrase that means what, exactly? What kind of food is his 'signature' other than sandwiches, or cooking Militello's recipes? I say give him his due, but explain the hype, please.

                                            2. re: Miami Danny

                                              Ah yes. I knew Ver Daddy's would come into this conversation somehow. How can this place still be open!?

                                              1. re: lax2mia

                                                Oh yes,

                                                Cause their Steak and Fries Taco rule :) :). Honestly, the way he has been changing staff who knows if they will survive. So let a Taco Dull take it over, oh wait there's already one right down the steet.

                                                1. re: lax2mia

                                                  Standard celebrity chef puffery is not going to make me want to watch the detritus roll by on the canal, Kris may or may not be a talented chef, but I'll wait and see if the food is any good, or if they can stay open long; of course I wish them luck, I live around the corner. Oh, and L2M, the reason VerDaddy's still exists is because the chef makes his beans just like his Mexican grandmother's. Just read this, and weep, or, like I did, chuckle. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                                  1. re: 2top

                                                    Without any rancor (believe me, I'm not trying to be harsh), I'm not on this board to read old issues of the New Times-I'm interested in what people who post here have eaten, and their opinions of the food. I've seen none so far. Has anyone eaten Mr. Wessel's food? What is it? How did it taste? Do ya see what I'm driving at?

                                                    1. re: Miami Danny

                                                      Um, yeah...I hear you loud and clear...in fact I feel you!

                                                      Frod says he's tried his cuisine...I'm sure he must have something worthy to tell us.

                                                      That Prosciutto Paninni I had 8 years ago was pretty good!

                                                      1. re: Miami Danny

                                                        *Has anyone eaten Mr. Wessel's food? What is it? How did it taste?*

                                                        Yes. I went to Liaison on the far end of Espanola Way, and Elia in the cursed spot in Bal Harbour that now harbors (sorry, unintended) La Goulue.

                                                        Liaison was a genuinely interesting and good place. Upscale, creative, with a strong but not overwhelming influence of New Orleans creole cooking. Regretfully I only got there a couple times and can't remember any dishes, but it was very good and I was sad when it closed.

                                                        Elia was also quite good, sort of "Nuevo-Mediterranean" (at least a little bit before everyone started doing Mediterranean), and was also good, somewhat healthy (which I usually don't like as a focus for a restaurant, but didn't mind here). Again, another place I kicked myself for when it closed for not having gone more often.

                                                        The guy's got a good touch. And I say that without having any knowledge of him bumping hips with Michelle Bernstein or whatever else is on his resume.

                                                      2. re: Miami Danny

                                                        Did his grandmother teach him to stuff a tortilla with french fries also? And the comment "I make everything from scratch" must mean that those packages of corn tortillas lining the kitchen must be there for show.

                                                        Thanks for the laugh.

                                                        1. re: Miami Danny

                                                          Interesting that the Wash Post thinks more highly than Most local hounds and even says that "Ver-Daddy's (a play on the Spanish word for "truth") brings a new level of authenticity to Mexican food in Miami" and also adds "But what it lacks in ambience it makes up for in flavor".

                                                          Perhaps this is why its still open.

                                                          1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                            Washington DC is not exactly a mecca for Mexican food either so any comments about authentic, or even tex-mex or cal-mex, Mexican food from the Post need to be taken with a grain of margarita salt.

                                                            1. re: lax2mia

                                                              Forget the salt just give the margarita pleeze!

                                                  2. The Biscayne Corridor has actually turned out to be a great place to live! So far I have tried the Indian place (Taj Mahal I think...) right off Biscayne and South of 79th. The food is great, but like most Indian places...it could use a designer and a maid. Che Sopranos has great pizza, the staff are super friendly, and they play great music. Karma is the best car wash ever! They also have decent beers, play great music, and are friendly. I tried Uva and really enjoyed the ambiance, live DJ and atmosphere in general, but was underwhelmed by the food...maybe it was just that night? I am looking forward to trying Wine 69 across the street...I've heard good things. Tried Moonshine and ordered Vietnamese..it was good. There is a little tiny sushi place that I'm interested in trying...if you blink you'll miss it, but it's on the West side of Biscayne in the high 70s. Keep passing the Pineapple Blossom and want to give it a go...and hiding across the street is Sweet Cakes...drunken cupcakes anyone? Sounds amazing!

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: JessicaB

                                                      The tiny sushi place is french-owned -- which adds an interesting twist. It's across the street from the bad mexican food place .

                                                      1. re: karmalaw

                                                        Sushi Square
                                                        http://www.sushisquare.com/

                                                        Haven't yet tried.

                                                        -----
                                                        A Sushi Square
                                                        7244 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL

                                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                                          Thanks for not putting a link to the "place that must not be named" bad mexican food place.

                                                          1. re: lax2mia

                                                            Just because I love you, I won't mention the name either-don't want you to grit your teeth and go GRRRRRRRRRR! But FYI, I passed by said joint sveral times on Saturday, and it was crowded at various times of the day. I know what you're going to say, but at least it won't break your wallet [Insert Comedy Comeback Here] I also think that Che Sopranos (worst restaurant name of the decade?), Sushi Square, Uva, Karma, and Wine69 are not any better for the money.

                                                            1. re: Miami Danny

                                                              They're not better for the money with the exception that I'd actually eat what I pay for at those establishments as opposed to the "taco shop that must not be named".

                                                              1. re: lax2mia

                                                                Or would you? I've had some of the worst food I've ever eaten recently at all the places I mentioned; whereas, at least at Ver-Daddy's, I have had a passable taco or two. Oh no! I'm being sent back to my parellel universe for saying the name. Ahhhhhhhhhhh......

                                                              2. re: Miami Danny

                                                                Easy on UVA! UVA 69 still has what I think may be the best breakfast in that part of town. I've been disappointed by Eastside Diner on Biscayne and I rather take my money to UVA. If you can suggest a better place, then do so please.

                                                                1. re: mialebven

                                                                  Pooh-pooh-ing Jimmy's? I'm shocked! Jimmy's Eastside is the best breakfast I've had on the Boulevard. And cheap. And I've eaten there dozens of times. Egg white omelet, solid coffee, pancakes, french toast, hash browns, crisp bacon. Great, classic service, too. And great crowd. Never mentioned it because it's already hard to get a table. The entire neighborhood eats there. Also the owner is super-nice-really great staff.
                                                                  I was at Uva this morning, actually, and the breakfast plates that were going around did not look too appetizing. Eggs looked dry, bacon looked overcooked. Could have tasted fine (I was there for a meeting and wasn't eating) for all I know.

                                                                  1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                    Sshhhhh!!

                                                                    Now that the cat's out of the bag, Jimmy's Eastside does a nice greek omelette (or even better, frittata, done open-face) w/ spinach and feta. And a decent club sandwich. Decent simple diner food.

                                                                    I've had a decent breakfast sandwich type thing at Uva before as well.

                                                                    1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                      The breakfast at UVA is standard if you're just talking about eggs and bacon - you can have that anywhere and you'll be stepping on your own toes if you are able to claim one as any better than the others.

                                                                      What stands out at UVA comparing with Jimmy's are three things: 1) fresh juices (not the one that comes out of a carton at Jimmy's, 2) the pastries, croissants, and whatever else at UVA and lastly 3) the prices are much better at UVA than at Jimmy's. Jimmy's is even overpriced by S&S Diner's standards. But if you can get a nicer atmosphere at UVA for less, then I'm sold (of course, if there's also good food involved).

                                                                      So for me, UVA wins hand down for breakfast on the Boulevard.

                                                                      1. re: mialebven

                                                                        I don't think anything at Uva, including the 'whatever else' is any fresher than what they have at Jimmy's. And if one thinks there is no discerning the difference between good (or great) eggs and bacon, and bad eggs and bacon, then perhaps one has never eaten a great breakfast. No difference in eggs? Bacon??? If the person in the kitchen can't manage that, I wouldn't trust a them to fill my water glass. And I really don't see the charm of eating outside in the hot mornings of Miami.

                                                                        1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                          to be fair, if anything's missing in Miami, it's great breakfast spots. There are few good breakfasts and a lot of bad ones. But I'm with you. It's simple but very satisfying when done correctly.

                                                                          1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                            Come on MD admit it, UVA's got its strengths. They bake their own pastries, they've got stuff on the menu besides typical diner items, and you can eat outside.

                                                                            You're last sentence just makes me think you want to bash the place. We're in Miami, we eat outside. It's charming. If I wanted to go along the same vein I'd say it's not charming to eat in an overcrowded, slightly dirty and smelly diner on a hot morning in Miami. On a chilly day in New York, maybe, but not on a sunny day in Miami.

                                                                      2. re: mialebven

                                                                        The breakfast of champions at UVA for about $6 is really good. You can't even get a BK Whopper combo for that money!

                                                                2. re: karmalaw

                                                                  I ate there a few times when it first opened (2 years ago now?) and I thought both the quality and the concepts were very good then. Some very refreshing and interesting dishes I really enjoyed. Good soy sauce too. Never understood this fascination they had with peanuts as decoration however.

                                                              3. Forgot something! If you are brave enough to venture into 79th street there is a Jamaican convenience store/deli on the right (going West). The saltfish and aki is a traditional Jamaican breakfast dish...it came with 4 different starches, but the fish and aki (a salty fruit) was amazing. I've also tried the chicken roti..it was spicy and good! The owner seemed surprised, yet excited to have me there so I assume he'd really appreciate the business. Sketchy but great!

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: JessicaB

                                                                  Sounds like it must be B&M Market.

                                                                  1. re: JessicaB

                                                                    Not to be argumentative (not me), but NE 79th St is the New Restaurant Row. It's not any sketchier than stretches of Biscayne Blvd (The Old New Restaurant Row). that were previously mentioned. In fact, there is more crime at Biscayne and 69th St, and that stretch that includes Uva, Karma, etc.. People get robbed at the gas station all the time, and there is an hourly-rate motel next to Michy's where a lot of gainfully employed types ply their trade. As far as ackee goes, the Herald did a nice piece in January http://www.miamiherald.com/286/story/...

                                                                    1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                      I'm not taking sides in this debate other than to note that if NE 79th St. is the "New Restaurant Row" and Biscayne is the "Old New Restaurant Row", then we also need to come up with a name for NE 40th St. in the Design District.

                                                                      Of course some might say there's more crime at Biscayne & 69th because there's more opportunity with the influx of customers for all these new places (how often is there anyone with something worth stealing outside B&M Market?).

                                                                      I'm intrigued to see what's ultimately going to happen to all the little by-the-hour motels along Biscayne. I haven't seen as many street-walkers on Biscayne for a while (certainly not compared to 5 years ago) but the motels are still there. Also not sure how the MiMo historical designation affects them. The one you're thinking of - the Saturn Motel - has an awesome 50's-era sign with a band of lights making the ring around the planet.

                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                        First-the Design District's NE 40th St is called a 'corridor', as per Lee Klein. So perhaps New Cuisine Corridor or something. Second-There has been more crime on BB for a long time-the reasons aren't important, just that there are plenty of violent and other crimes, was my point, witness last Saturday's smash-and-grab at the BP, a fairly regular occurrence. I don't think the stretch of NE 79th is any more or less sketchier. And you are right-the glow from the Saturn Motel's 50's-era sign really lights up the streetwalkers with a haunting glow.

                                                                        1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                          Two new spots-one already open at the former location of the taco place (I would say unlamented, but I don't want to get into THAT brawl again...or do I?) just north of 79th St on the east side of Biscayne-NY Pizza or something. Someone want to take the bullet here? And coming soon-in the old Shorecrest Cleaners building on NE 79th St, just east of the Boulevard, a Cuban bakery called Ya-Ye (I think I have that right). The owner was at the UES Green Market last Saturday doing pan con lechon. She'll be opening after permitting, etc., hopefully end of the month.

                                                                          1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                            Also, there is what looks like a coffee/lunch place going in at Biscayne and 82nd, NE corner across from Pineapple Blossom. Big spot, and more competition for Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds.

                                                                  2. i see no one has mentioned Luna Cafe over on biscayne and the 50's i believe. italian from the same group of restaurants as Carpaccio, Bella Luna, Vivi, etc. really good food and great service. personally, i love their meatball, herb roasted chicken, and banana pie.

                                                                    also, no one is mentioning anything further north than 79th street...?

                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                    1. re: dmo305

                                                                      I ate at Luna Cafe once and found it seriously underwhelming. Very generic Italian food. Not awful but not any place I'd go back to unless someone else insisted.

                                                                      A couple places N of 79th have been mentioned - Pineapple Blossom Tea Room, a Filipino place Miami Danny mentioned. There were a couple more worth noting a year or two ago but they were either a little too early or a little too far north or both and closed - Arturo's Taco Max, a nice seafood place a little further up (Cafe del Mar?). I have not tried Spyro (?), the sushi (?) place about a block north of 79th St. intersection. For the most part though, north of 79th is pretty much a dead zone for restaurants until you get north of Miami Shores.

                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                        Thought you might like to see what the Herald's Enrique Fernandez has to say about the new restaurant row (NE 79th St). http://www.miamiherald.com/1010/story...

                                                                        1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                          He included Che Soprano's on the beach so restaurant row now spans two cities!

                                                                            1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                              You know, if you continue west on 79th St, you get to Hialeah, that's three cities.

                                                                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                ActuallyI suggest we call it The New Restaurant Fro' and be done with it. LOL

                                                                          1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                            Spyro is awful. It's a cuban owned sushi bar (at least that's what it was the only time I went in). The ingredients were mediocre looking and not worth the money paid in taste. To top it off they managed to serve me the worst Thai iced tea I've ever had.

                                                                            When I lived in the neighborhood I'd just go over the bridge to Katana when I wanted sushi. Katana is still one of my favorite sushi spots.

                                                                            1. re: karmalaw

                                                                              A cuban-owned reataurant in Miami? Now I've heard it all. Spyro has some decent dishes, and the sushi chef's Japanese. It is a little expensive for the area, though. I've eaten dinner there or had takeout dozens of times. The hot curries aren't bad. And while I love Katana's conveyor belt, the show's better than the sushi. The best sushi on Restaurant Fro' is at the Japanese Market 1412 79th Street Cswy, North Bay Village, That's four cities!

                                                                              1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                                The Japanese market is good.. but I prefer Katana. It depends upon which chef is at Katana.. some are truly excellent and quite creative.

                                                                                Yes, Spyro's chef is japanese (well -- I think he was actually Thai when I was there) -- but he's limited by the poor selection and mediocre quality of fish supplied to him. I had a nice talk with whomever was the chef when I was there -- I suggested that he open his own place down the Boulevard. Meanwhile, IMO, there are too many good places to eat to waste time on a largely miss rather than hit restaurant.

                                                                                1. re: karmalaw

                                                                                  Katana is hit-and-miss, so is Spyro. But you returned to Katana-perhaps Spyro should get the same treatment before one pronounces it 'awful'. How recently did you eat there? And must I call ahead to Katana to ensure I get the good chef?

                                                                                  1. re: Miami Danny

                                                                                    I'm not sure why my going back to Katana should be compared to Spyro -- I've never had a bad experience at Katana. Their are too many other places for me to go than to go out of my way for Spyro. Sorry - they're truly one of the places so awful on the first experience that I can't be bothered with them ever again.

                                                                                    Had the problems not been poor quality ingredients (and the sushi chef seemed embarrassed by what he had to work with), then other things could be overlooked (like the god-awful decor). But come on -- how do you screw up Thai iced tea? I could have gotten a better one out of a vending machine (if there were one).

                                                                                2. re: Miami Danny

                                                                                  Sushi Deli - every time I go there I come away even happier for having such a gem in the neighborhood. Chef Kushi always has something interesting available - some days uni, another day it may be a Japanese snapper that he's done a light cure on himself, another day ankimo (monkfish liver). And he's got a great touch for adding some other little note to enhance the fish -might be a sliver of shiso, a little fresh grated ginger, a gentle squeeze of lime. Only downside is that they close early (and there's hardly any seating).

                                                                                  I like Katana but these places are leagues apart. The different chefs at Katana do have different items they prepare - some nights there's a guy who makes a nigiri with ika (squid), ikura (salmon roe) and shiso which is beautiful as well as tasty. Another one does this odd creation with tamago (sweet omelette), mayo and eel sauce.

                                                                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                    Don't forget Good Eats Deli on 79 Street- would love to hear your comments on this breakfast/lunch place, is right accross fromn Delsa's upcoming Cuban Bakery- Yi-Ya's.
                                                                                    Regarding the Pizza ahop on BIscayne & 79 Street- is pretty good, but they need to hire help- the 3 times I've gone there is only one person minding the register and doing the pizza's.

                                                                                    1. re: Mariauxy

                                                                                      I've never tried Good Eats, their hours don't work for me. I live near 79th but work in the Gables and they seem to only be open day-time weekdays.

                                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                        Good Eats is open Mon-Fri 8am-3pm and Sat 10am-3pm
                                                                                        hope you can make it one day.

                                                                                      2. re: Mariauxy

                                                                                        *Regarding the Pizza ahop on BIscayne & 79 Street- is pretty good, but they need to hire help- the 3 times I've gone there is only one person minding the register and doing the pizza's.*

                                                                                        Maybe they should get that guy holding the sign out on the street to come in and work the register instead. Not so sure he should be trusted with a cash register though.

                                                                            2. I've unofficially started my tour of Biscayne Blvd restaurants. I had planned to go to Red Light on Friday evening around 7 pm, but I'm embarassed to announce that I did not know how to get in because of all the construction barricades in front of it! So I just kept driving down and ended up at Uva 69.

                                                                              Now, I've read all the comments about breakfast, but I found that the appetizers we ordered were very tasty. I sampled several of the bartender's "specialty" drinks of the day.....some kind of mango martini, a lychee raspberry martini, and a blackberry lime martini. The best one out of the three was the blackberry lime martini. We also ordered several appetizers, which I found to be very fresh and tasty, as well as on the cheap side! A cheese plate came with a large portion of manchego cheese drizzled with some pesto and a few slices of roasted red pepper. A portion of brie was drizzled with balsamic vinegar, strawberries, and candied walnuts; and another huge portion of blue cheese with walnuts and a drizzle of something else over it, I can't remember what. For $9, it was definitely a great price for that portion.

                                                                              I also had a grilled shrimp skewer on a sugar cane, served with mashed boniato and tempura onions which were very good; a warm chorizo appetizer, served spanish-style in a white wine sauce in a little terra cotta pot with toasted baguette slices; and the plantain and mozarella cheese empanadas. I'm not a huge fan of sweet plantains, so I didn't enjoy those very much.

                                                                              I was actually impressed with the food, service and atmosphere. I'll admit it doesn't take much to impress me! It was something different for me as I usually stick to the South Miami/Coral Gables/Grove area. I'm actually returning tonight for a friend's birthday so I hope have a good report tomorrow as well.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: jessicam29

                                                                                The menu at Uva 69 has definitely gotten broader and a little more interesting. Used to just be a salad and sandwich type place. I had a decent+ lunch there a couple months ago.

                                                                                As for Red Light, it's slightly easier if you're coming from the south rather than the north, as you can just sort of plot a path through the barricades and pull into the motel parking lot. Alternatively you can park on the next cross street (78th?). There are spots on the north side of 78th which belong tothe hotel and on-street parking on the south side.

                                                                                1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                  Thanks, Frod....i was wary of parking in the hotel spots on the side because they had tow-away signs.

                                                                                  1. re: jessicam29

                                                                                    Correction it's 77th St. not 78th. 78th is on the north side of the river, Red Light is on the south side (I'm not recommending you use the "Black Gold" parking lot). Check inside the restaurant to be sure, but the hotel spots on the street are OK if you're going to the restaurant.

                                                                                    I'm not taking the bait to start another Biscayne Blvd. thread, as I prefer having just one to bookmark, but will respond here to this post ->

                                                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/519599

                                                                                    Provence Bakery - I have not been to the new one that just opened on the south end of Biscayne around the 20s, but they have a number of other locations including one in Coral Gables that I've been to. Pretty good breads and tarts, reasonably nice brioche, however the only place in Miami that I've found can get the right texture on a croissant is Paul.

                                                                                    Moshi Moshi - Have not been to the new Biscayne location, did go to the original location on South Beach. Here's a report ->
                                                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33372...

                                                                                    1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                      What is the Boutique Kitchen mentioned in the other thread?

                                                                                      1. re: mialebven

                                                                                        hi, The Boutique Kitchen is 6815 Biscayne...it's a great place for lunch and take-out...think home cooking away from home. Fabulous BBQ ribs and pulled pork sandwich. It's been open for about 2 months. 11am-8pm mon-sat, try it, I promise you will love it!

                                                                                        1. re: jaimelleonard

                                                                                          What happened to this place? It was soooo good. I went one day about a month ago and found it was closed due to the A/C breaking down, or so the note on the door said. It said they'd be back in a few days, but they never did and now the location seems empty!

                                                                                          So sad. Anyone knows?

                                                                              2. Two recent trips to Biscayne resulted in vastly different dining experiences. We started with lunch at uva 69 for something light.Our friendly though slightly disheveled waiter recommended the La Minuta beer battered Mahi-Mahi with cilantro aioli, caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes and avocado on freshly baked focaccia. The sandwich was perfectly toasted to a light crunch and the flavors balanced perfectly with the crisp fish and smooth avocado. Served with a delicate mesclun, this was a perfect midday meal for less than $10.Divine!
                                                                                Much later that night we headed over to Kris Wessel's Red Light where the insanity began. Upon approaching the parking entrance which is clearly marked with a valet board, we stop in anticipation of someone approaching to take our keys or direct us to parking. Instead there is a slight man in flip flops off to the side watching us, but making no attempt to call our attention. As we proceed to park in the Motel Blu lot, descend the car, lights off, the same slight fellow approaches to state he is in fact the valet and informs us that he will have to park our car across the street. In response to his snide remark that we just ignored him, I told him I am not in the habit of handing over my car keys to guys standing on the street corner, well away from the designated valet spot who makes no attempt to identify himself. He responded with the following question,"Do I look like the type of person you think I am standing here in hot white havaianas and with this fierce tan? Of course I'm the valet." So having just been given a course in crackhead couture, I am already wary of the schooling I am liable to get inside. Our party of three was quickly seated at a, how can I say this delicatley--intimate booth.Shoulders together we are greeted by our waitress who appears to be reading the menu alongside with us for the first time,over the top of her glasses, stopping midsentence to walk off down the bar for affirmation of her menu 101recollections. When asked for recommendations, she essentially recited the menu. We ended up ordering 2 orders of bbq shrimp (best of the plates we had), the lemon preserved shrimp (ok, but not spectacular), goat cheese salad, the corvina ceviche with quinoa (slighly raw first bite but overall palatable) and a mango tart for dessert(pleasant and light). The order of plating was somewhat questionable and the drink orders were a disaster. We ordered 2 plain lemonades when we were initially seated and about halfway through dinner we were presented with what looked like lemonade, but which in fact carried it's own octane rating. When we asked our waitress if this was the plain lemonade we ordered she responded with an"oh hell no it's got liquor." Would have been nice if I wasn't on antibiotics and what I had actually ordered.So as I watch her return to the bar, sipping on the drink I just returned, I wait for the lemonade I ordered as the spicy bbq sauce dances on my palate. Fifteen minutes later the lemonade appears with the quote, "better late than never, teehee.'' The highlight of the night was when it was time to split the bill. We handed her 3 credit cards, asking that they be equally split, which must have been more than she could process. She ran out the front door, 3 credit cards in hand, toward the crack-chic valet, only to return 10 minutes (and 3 creditcard holders on the phone to their security lines) later with her glasses now on and the oddly calculated but ultimately correct checks. Back to the valet to whom I return the half of a torn blank credit card slip that I was given as my key check to hopefully retrieve my car with rims intact. The loungey vibe of the restaurant definitely has potential, but the food is not definitive enough to return for further interaction with the assorted freaks and geeks.I suppose if you like it you just call it eccentric.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: cocoplum

                                                                                  That valet dude does have some fine havainas and a fierce tan though.

                                                                                  1. re: cocoplum

                                                                                    Went last night with a group of 9 for my b-day. Service started out just like expected from descriptions on this board. Although we had a reservation, a table was not ready for us and they waited an eternity to clean a table for us even though we were standing in the middle of the small space (and me with my 9 month pregnant belly and swollen feet thank you very much) for ever. When we finally sat down it took FOREVER for someone just to come by and ask if we wanted something to drink. Some guy with severe personality issues came and told us what the specials were and left saying your waitress will be here shortly but didn't even ask for our drink order or anything! It was insane because the place is so small and was not crowded. He was so not nice or interested in anything. We asked him if he could take our order and he just said NO. When the bartender/waitress finally came to us, things took a better turn. She was incredibly nice and things seem to run a bit more smoothly afterwards. She brought our drinks and we made sure we knew EVERYTHING we wanted to order so we could just "grab her" on that same drink trip ;-)

                                                                                    We had a lot of the items in the small but interesting menu including the famous BBQ shrimp, the tomato soup, the arugula and mushroom salad, the spicy snapper with mango, starfruit and arugula, the pulled pork sandwich, the burger, the mussel pots with fried green tomatoes, the mac and cheese and blue cheese grits and the "minute steak". Everything was GREAT. Everyone loved their food and we had a blast. The steak and burgers were perfectly cooked and seasoned, the mac and cheese was very simple but sinful and the blue cheese grits had the perfect consistency and flavor. The BBQ shrimp sauce was devoured with lots of extra bread. The tomato soup was my favorite, great subtle flavors and aroma. It was not thick... felt very light. The fish was perfectly cooked, crispy skin and juicy, flaky, perfect flesh... and I personally really liked how it was simply seasoned. The fruit in this dish, although very sweet, went good with it I thought. The mussels got rave reviews, I heard "so much better that Le Bon." Would have loved to taste the desserts (they had some banana bread pudding as a special too!) but my husband had bought me a vanilla brandy cake from Todo Dulces ( my favorite) so they helped us out serving that instead.

                                                                                    We will all be going back for sure...

                                                                                  2. Is Boteco still around? I had totally forgotten about this place. I went a few times during the summer when it was miserably hot and humid. Now is probably a good time to go back.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: jessicam29

                                                                                      Boteco is still around and going strong. It is pretty steamy during the 9 months of Miami summer there, but it's quite nice now. Last time I stopped by for a drink Mo Morgen was playing some jazz.

                                                                                      Anyone remember Ho's at Mo's? For a brief shining moment about 10 years ago, Mo had a jazz club on 71st Street, Normandy Circle (MoJazz), and they were serving (pretty good) Vietnamese food (chef was named "Ho"). I don't think it lasted a year. What a shame. Wish someone could make that happen again.