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Miami/Key West food intinerary

j
jayk Nov 24, 2008 10:05 AM

Hello,
I'm almost done with my "eating" intinerary for Miami/Key West. Please let me know if I'm missing any key places to eat! Will be staying around 69 and Collins in Miami. Have a car!

Day 1 - Driving from Miami to LittleTorch Keys -
Need to pick one of these places for lunch:
*Marathon Keys Fishery, 3502 Gulfview Ave, Marathon, FL‎ - (305) 743-4353
*Calypso, Key Largo, 1 Seagate Blvd, Key Largo, FL, (305) 451-0600 ‎
Marker 88, 88000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL‎, (305) 852-9315 ‎
Bentley's,82779 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL‎ -(305) 664-9094 ‎
Alabama Jack's, Key Lago, 58000 Card Sound Rd, Key Largo, (305) 248-8741
Coconuts Key Largo Florida, 528 Caribbean Drive, 305 453 9794

Top choices are Marathon Keys Fishery or Calpso - don't want to venture too far off the path since need to meet up with boat at a certain time.

Day 2 - Driving from Little Torch Keys to Miami
Need to find a cafe with awesome coffee (like Baby's or Sandy's) to stop for snack/bathroom break but not necessarily a full meal since lunch is already taken care of.

Day 3 -
Lunch; El Rey Del Chivito
Dinner: Michy's (is it better to sit inside or outside?)

Day 4
Lunch: Versaille or Las Vacas Gordas
Dinner: Michael's

Day 5
Lunch: Joe's Stone Crab
Dinner: Sra.Martinez

Day 6
Lunch: Sardinia or Talula or Joe's Stone Crab again (I love crab!)
Dinner: Ortanique

Day 7:
Yakko San. Gourmet Diner. River Oyster Bar. Jaguar. Should I swap out some meals for other restaurants on my list? Am I overlooking someone?

  1. Frodnesor Nov 24, 2008 02:21 PM

    Looking to your Miami choices, let me say, generally speaking, "Well played." A few thoughts ->

    - you've got some pretty heavy lunches in there. El Rey de Chivito is geographically desirable from 69th & Collins and is certainly a sandwich experience, but unless you share a chivito w/ someone else, you may be out of commission the rest of the day. I wouldn't consider it a "don't miss." I also wasn't aware that Las Vacas Gordas was open for lunch, but that's not to say it isn't. Again, not a "don't miss," but also geographically desirable from your home base. That will also be a big heavy lunch.

    - Michy's outdoor seating is no great shakes. It's in the back of the building rather than on the street, and looks out onto the parking lot.

    - Ortanique does pretty nice lunch, I might consider switching up and doing Ortanique for lunch and either Sardinia or Talula for dinner.

    Yakko San is cream of the crop for your Day 7 choices. I'd also throw Pacific Time into the mix. I'd also add Red Light to the list especially now that they're doing lunch.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor
      j
      jayk Nov 25, 2008 03:33 AM

      What do you mean by "out of commission". Do you mean that I might have a stomache or that it is so heavy I won't be able to eat anything but water the rest of the day? My dinner reservations are booked around 7:00 so I don't want to spoil dinner! How is the outdoor seating from Michael's. I would love to sit out side and enjoy the nice weather but obviously don't want to be looking into a parking lot!
      The only reason I have Ortanique for dinner is because it is a little out of the way for us, what about skipping Ortanique altogether and doing Talula for lunch, Sardinia for dinner?

      1. re: jayk
        Frodnesor Nov 25, 2008 04:28 AM

        Chivito is a heavy meal. If I knew I was going to MGF&D for dinner, I wouldn't have a chivito for lunch. The outdoor seating at MGF&D is nicer than Michy's, in a covered courtyard area - no real view to speak of but quite pleasant when the weather is good.

        I like Ortanique but no more so than either Talula or Sardinia, particularly if you don't want to trek out to Coral Gables. However, Coral Gables is a nice place for a stroll along Miracle Mile and some sightseeing (Venetian Pool, Biltmore Hotel, can make your way over to Fairchild Garden, Coconut Grove, etc.) so it wouldn't necessarily be a wasted trip by any means - though now we're drifting away from food talk.

        1. re: Frodnesor
          j
          jayk Nov 25, 2008 04:44 AM

          Am feeling like my choices are heavy on the "higher end restaurants" and light on the "cheap eats/ethnic" category if I take out Chivitos...are there better/other choices?

          1. re: jayk
            Frodnesor Nov 25, 2008 10:31 AM

            If you're looking for things close to 69th & Collins for lunch options not quite as heavy as El Rey de Chivito ->
            - Ariston (Greek).
            www.aristonrestaurant.com
            - Tamarind (Thai) (can be bland unless you tell them "Thai Spicy").
            www.tamarindthai.us
            - SushI Deli (Japanese).
            www.japanese-market.com
            - Red Light ("Regional Dining").
            www.redlightmiami.com
            - Pineapple Blossom Tea Room
            www.pineappleblossom.com
            - Siam Bayshore (Thai)

            1. re: Frodnesor
              lax2mia Nov 25, 2008 11:14 AM

              And if you want to go for ethnic I'd throw breakfast places into the mix. Buenos Aires Bakery on Collins is fairl close to your hotel

              -----
              Buenos Aires Bakery
              7134 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL

      2. re: Frodnesor
        Icantread Nov 26, 2008 08:16 AM

        "- Ortanique does pretty nice lunch, I might consider switching up and doing Ortanique for lunch and either Sardinia or Talula for dinner."

        Sardinia can get EXTREMELY loud for dinner, as the acoustics reflect all the noise. I've been there for dinner and barely able to hear the rest of the table around me. the nicer experiences I've had there were more for lunch.

        Ditto on the Pacific Time. They have some great food, drinks and ambiance.

      3. 9
        9lives Nov 24, 2008 03:13 PM

        For lunch on the way down, I'd recommend Key's Fisherie's in Marathon over Alabama Jack's. There's also a little breakfast/coffee shop, where you turn off Rte 1..right on way down, left on the way back.

        http://flickr.com/photos/61246842@N00...

        For Miami, I've eaten at Joe's, Talula, and Sardinia and would go back to all 3.

        Haven't been to Michy's or Michaels but have liked both chefs cooking at previous ventures.

        Nice itinerary..enjoy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: 9lives
          j
          jayk Nov 25, 2008 03:34 AM

          Thanks! I think Alabama Jacks' might be too out of the way for us. Key Fisheries over Calyspo?

          1. re: jayk
            9
            9lives Nov 25, 2008 07:20 AM

            I've never been Calypso.

            Alabama Jack's is somewhat out of the way. We ended up there when Rte # 1 was shut down due to an accident. We were bumper to bumper for a long time on Card Rd and AJ was there at lunch time..not bad and a pretty spot..but not as good as Keys Fisheries.

        2. n
          Nick Nov 24, 2008 05:26 PM

          I agree that El Rey de Chivito may negate any other meals for the day. I've always had really good experiences at Sardinia. Yakko San is by far my favorite in your list though. I would also add a stop at Robert is Here in the Redlands/Florida City area for milkshake. I usually hit up Taqueria Morelia on my way out there for some tacos de suadero. Denny's in Key Largo (a Cuban restaurant/liquor store, not the home of the skillet-slam-whatever) makes good Cuban coffee. I've never had the food there, although I've heard it's decent. The last time I was in there, the guy behind the counter was fixing himself a large cafe con leche that he had doctored up with several heaping spoonfuls of Nestle Quik powder. I am curious about this...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nick
            j
            jayk Nov 25, 2008 03:48 AM

            Thanks for the coffee place, we will definitely need a place to refuel before heading up back to Miami. . I'm intrigued by the Taqueria place. We love tacos. Is this a truck or a restaurant? I can't seem to find much on it through googling.

            1. re: jayk
              n
              Nick Nov 26, 2008 05:42 AM

              I googled "Taqueria Morelia, Florida City, FL" and got their contact info. It's a restaurant that is attached to a gas station. Robert is Here is less than a mile down the same road. I say get some tacos and then hit up Robert for a papaya and key lime milkshake.

              Taqueria Morelia:
              961 W Palm Dr, Homestead, FL‎
              (305) 247-7552

              Here's a link:
              http://maps.google.com/maps?client=sa...

          2. t
            tpigeon Nov 25, 2008 12:07 AM

            I wouls not do LVG on day 4. Grazianos, the original on bird rd is far superior (many, including myself, consider it the best). Baires closed unfortunately in south beach but they used to be a great alternative to Grazianos.

            If you are looking for just a skirt steak and none of the trimmings that go with an argentinian place (sausages, provaletta, etc.), it is a little known fact that Sardinia has an excellent skirt steak which is only surpassed by the original Grazianos.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tpigeon
              l
              LargeLife Nov 25, 2008 04:35 AM

              I love Alabama Jacks....been going there since I was a child.....knew the original owners Jack and Alice......But it's hardly a foodie destination......The food they serve there is good and tasty....but not a foodie destination....sorry to say.....

              EMac

            2. m
              marycarol Nov 30, 2008 05:46 PM

              We like Keys Fisheries in Marathon a lot. But you don't mention too many paces in Key West? Micheals is great, but I hope you are spending more time in Key West? There was an earlier post on places in KW, hope that will help. Welcome to the Keys, it's a wonderful place to visit and enjoy great food.

              1. t
                thelonious777 Dec 2, 2008 05:54 PM

                Sorry to hijack this thread but I thought better to tack it on here than create a new one as I have a similar itinerary and intentions as the OP.

                I will be in Miami for five days and in the Keys for a few days.

                In Miami, I think we are going to Michy's, Michael's Genuine and one of Sra. Martinez or Pacific Time. I'm happy with this group for high-end dining. We will also be going to Joe's Stone Crab because it is legendary.

                One thing I haven't been able to key in on from reading this board is what the can't miss restaurants on the lower end of the spectrum are (i.e. $20 and less). I eat everything and I don't mind driving if needs be. What is the one place in Miami that I shouldn't miss in terms of cheap eats?

                Thanks in advance. Check out my website (link in profile) later as I will write all of this up.

                Thelonious

                1. s
                  swoll50 Dec 3, 2008 07:03 AM

                  I love Alabama Jacks. Like has already been said, the food is very pedestrian but we still make it a point to stop for lunch any time we head back from a weekend in the Keys.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: swoll50
                    j
                    jsurf_7 Feb 2, 2009 11:16 AM

                    What about Herbies in Marathon? If memory serves it was a little shack just before the 7 Mile Bridge? Food was Awesome, staff were great fun too.

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