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South Beach Miami - On the Strip

Hello Phx CH'er and will be down in south beach early Feb, for a guys trip

Looking for a good place to eat on the strip (we will not have a car) probably staying at the Clinton hotel - 825 Washington Ave so it needs to be within walking distance aka half a mile or less would be good from that location

Cool vibe is important along with good food would be nice, a few of us are foodies

I know Wish is close by, is there any other places we should be considering? Is Wish good? It is pretty hard to search for wish on this forum, everyone who wishes something comes up :)

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South Beach Cafe
121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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  1. In no particular order:
    Prime 112 or Italian
    Joes Stone Crab
    Blt Steak
    Grazie

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    Prime 112 Restaurant
    112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

    Grazie
    701 Washington Avenue, Maimi Beach, FL 33139

    3 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      probably want to stay away from any chains, we have a BLT Steak in PHX that we can go to anytime

      1. re: Dapuma

        But the chef at our BLT was among the nominees for a James Beard award for aspiring young chef. Gives it some extra cred.

        1. re: lax2mia

          After looking at those above it seems like the following 3 would be the short list: Grazie / Wish / Joe's Stone Crab

          Is Wish good? or comparable with those other two?

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          Joe's Stone Crab
          11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

          Grazie
          701 Washington Avenue, Maimi Beach, FL 33139

    2. Wish has changed chefs a few times and I've not been in the most recent iteration, so I don't know what's going on there. Joe's Stone Crab is not exactly what most would call a "cool vibe" rather it has the feel of an old-school steakhouse (and is one of the few true dining "institutions" locally). I would add Meat Market (on Lincoln Road) and De Rodriguez Cuba (in the Astor Hotel) to the places you're considering. On BLT Steak, the regular menu is straight-ahead steakhouse but there is always a list of daily specials that is more varied and gives the chef some leeway. The chicken liver mousse and popovers alone may be the best things to eat on South Beach these days.

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      Joe's Stone Crab
      11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      Meat Market
      915 Lincoln road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      14 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Meat market is about a mile away from their loacation - op was looking for 1/2 mile

        1. re: tpigeon

          meat market looks pretty cool looks wise, possible we could hoof it as it wont be too hot in feb, also the de rodriguez cuba place looks interesting

          - is there any good hole in the wall lunch / breakfast place we should check out near where we are staying (probably something with good hangover food ;p)

          1. re: Dapuma

            If you are willing to do the walk, meat market fits your bill.

            Otentic has excellent crepes and very good food in general
            Joes take out (not a hole in the wall but has some very good bargains (fried chicken))
            Puerto Sagua
            El Chalan (16th and washington location)
            Front Porch (moved slightly north of the original location noted here)
            la sandwicherie
            a la folie (not as good as otentic but still good)
            kokopo
            if you want something later (5pm-late night) Alibi has excellent cheesesteaks and cupcakes.

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            Front Porch Cafe
            1418 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            El Chalan Restaurant
            7971 Bird Rd Ste 17, Miami, FL 33155

            Puerto Sagua Restaurant
            700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

            1. re: tpigeon

              If we had to pick otentic or front porch...which would you choose and why?

              Also is there any "mixology" places on the strip who specialize in handcrafted cocktails - homemade mixers / orgeat / grenadine i.e. speakeasy type place or some place who knows what actually goes in a real mai tai etc

              Who makes the best mojito

              Also i love vietnamese coffee (condensed milk - espresso very strong), i have heard cuban style coffee is very strong, is there something cuban / miami-ish for coffee that is worth a go?

              Thanks again for all the suggestions...let me know if anyone is headed out to phx :)

              1. re: Dapuma

                Otentic is much better than front porch. They have awesome crepes.

                Tap Tap is my favorite mojito. No real mixology places I can think of around you.

                Puerto Sagua has cuban coffee.

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                Puerto Sagua Restaurant
                700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                1. re: tpigeon

                  Meat Market is also your place for mixology. The crew from Sra Martinez in the Design District that was doing great things there are now all at MM for the most part. Joe is the beverage manager and a helluva mixologist himself. The FLorida Room at the Delano is also supposed to have some good mixologist there but I've not had the drinks there, just rocks spirits.

                  FYI - buying drinks at the bar at the W is the equivalent of dropping the soap in the shower at San Quentin Correctional Facility. I ordered an average bourbon there and was charged more than the bottle cost...and it was a measured pour on top of that.

                  For lunch I would grab a falafel pita at Pita Spice on Washington Ave. Get it with everything. It's awesome.

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                  Meat Market
                  915 Lincoln road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                  Sra Martinez
                  4000 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

                2. re: Dapuma

                  I also love Vietnamese coffee. I think there's two Vietnamese places in South Beach but I have not tried them out. Sushi Saigon and Miss Saigon Bistro.

                  And for Miami's version of the Vietnamese coffee (condensed milk), I would highly recommend the "El Pecado" at Tinta y Cafe in Brickell. It's actually very similar and I do enjoy ordering it.

                  Hope that helps!

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                  Miss Saigon Bistro
                  148 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134

                  Sushi Saigon
                  1131 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                  South Beach Cafe
                  121 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                  1. re: Dapuma

                    Tap Tap's mojito gets much love but I have not been in a long time. On South Beach, check out the bar at the W Hotel and the Florida Room at the Delano Hotel. I've been to the former and they have a pretty serious bar program; have not been to the latter, but have heard the atmosphere is right if not the actual drinks (not saying one way or the other, just don't know on that front).

                    The classic Cuban coffee is just espresso (usually made with a brand like Bustelo), with enough sugar to make it nearly as thick as maple syrup. I don't think you'll find it notably different from one place to another. South Beach does not have a lot of Cuban places, but you can go to Puerto Sagua on Collins or David's Cafe on Lincoln Road.

                    Also, if you don't want to sound like a tourist, you may want to stop saying "the strip". That doesn't have any particular meaning as far as South Beach geography.

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                    Puerto Sagua Restaurant
                    700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                    1. re: Dapuma

                      We're visiting from NYC, so I don't know how places compare, locally -- but we've had great luck with the cocktails at the W's Living Room lounge. The ones we've tried have been beautifully mixed and not too sweet and probably as good as they make them at Pegu Lounge and the Modern Bar Room in NYC. They are a bit spendy ($15 for most), but this is about in line with what you'd pay at sceney places at home. We haven't tried many of the bar snacks, which I think are from Solea, the Spanish restaurant next door -- but their version of patatas bravas (using diced potatoes and drizzled with aioli) was very enjoyable.

                      As for Solea, we thought it was a mixed bag. (Full report and pictures here: http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/01/s...) The rice in the arroz negro was really excellent. We didn't get much soccarat, but the paella was made with good rice, in a good, carbon steel paella pan and it was loads better than any other paella I've tried in the U.S. Some of the proteins -- seafood and Wagyu beef -- weren't as pristinely fresh as I'd expect from a restaurant of this price point in our home town, though. (We had a similar problem with the seafood at AltaMar, which I haven't written up, yet.) Solea did get a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant last year for what it's worth. It's not as sceney as some other places like Meat Market or AltaMar, but it's a beautiful restaurant and tables are set far apart enough for privacy unlike many other places.

                      Frodesnor's website (Food for Thought -- you can find it in his profile) has a very useful map that may help you plan.

                      ETA:

                      I just mapped your hotel and realized that the W is about 1.4 miles from where you are. We are admittedly kind of into walking, but we haven't found getting around on foot to be too bad in Miami Beach. There is a very pleasant beach walk you can stroll up and down to avoid all car traffic. Taxis also seem to be not-too-difficult to hail.

                      Epicurious.com has a nice review of the food at Puerto Sagua, in case you're interested in divey after-hours dining, as well. It's close to your hotel.

                      "A quintessential Cuban dive, this South Beach institution is the place for a medianoche or a straight-up Cuban sandwich (pork, ham, cheese, pickle, bread) at any hour of the day. Everything somehow tastes best after-hours, when the place is packed with clubgoers and other colorful characters. Hearty platters of ropa vieja, crispy pollo asado, picadillo, and, of course, rice and beans makes for a filling and cheap taste of the cuisine from Miami's largest immigrant community. It's open late every night, at least until 2 a.m. And if you are having trouble staying—or sobering—up, consider a cortadito (a White Russian with rum) or a shot of inky, sweet espresso, otherwise known as rocket fuel. You can get out for under ten bucks."

                      1. re: michelleats

                        Thanks Michelle - we will probably do up one good place and check out some other local divey places the rest of the time

                        Puerto Sagua sounds great and like a good relaxed place - Tap Tap sounds very interesting, Mojito and goat and oxtail stew...definetly some unique stuff going on there - never had haitian food so i think we have to try that place out

                        if anyone has a must order or try for either of those two places that would be great

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                        Puerto Sagua Restaurant
                        700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                        1. re: michelleats

                          Prices at the W bar are in line with the rest of South Beach, i.e., ridiculously expensive.

                          The chef who was at Solea when it got the Beard nomination, Marc Vidal, has been gone for a couple months. Interestingly enough, he left for NY: he's now chef at Boqueria, hired after Seamus Mullen left. Though the W is busy enough, Solea seems to not get a lot of traffic.

                          Puerto Sagua is indeed a Cuban dive. The food is nothing special other than it's Cuban food and it's on South Beach. A cortadito, however, is not even remotely a White Russian with rum. It's espresso cut with a bit of steamed milk (and, in Miami, sweetened unless you ask for it "sin azucar").

                          For late night, divey eating I'd also put Birnam's Alibi into the mix. It's located in the Lost Weekend bar on Española Way (between Washington & Collins) and they've got a great cheesesteak. I've also heard good things about the shrimp po'boy, plus get some of the hand-cut fries with "ranch dust."

                          It's been a long time since I've been to Tap Tap but the most "customary" things to get would be either the goat (kabrit) or conch (lanbi) dishes, either stewed or grilled, though griots (fried pork chunks) are usually good too.

                          -----
                          Puerto Sagua Restaurant
                          700 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            I hadn't been to TapTap in years but went last week and was disappointed. Yes, the mojitos were very good, but the servings were skimpy and expensive for what we received. The special goat head soup had no meat whatsoever and could have been vegetarian. Live music the night we were there, made conversation difficult though. As to Solea, I believe the award was under the watch of the previous chef. Lastly, Wine Bistro 555 is intermittently excellent, great outdoor seating also.

                            1. re: ruthless2

                              Anyone know the recipe or a close proximity of what they use in their 5 star mojito

                              i just realized i have a fifth of 5 Star Barbencourt that i got for making a tiki drink...turns out that tiki drink wasnt that good...so i am excited to find a proper use for this good rum - is having 10 different types of rum a bad thing...i would say no - but others might call me crazy...but i can make almost any drink :)

                            2. re: Frodnesor

                              "The chef who was at Solea when it got the Beard nomination, Marc Vidal, has been gone for a couple months. Interestingly enough, he left for NY: he's now chef at Boqueria, hired after Seamus Mullen left. Though the W is busy enough, Solea seems to not get a lot of traffic."

                              Thanks very much for the heads up re: Marc Vidal. I hadn't heard this news (and corrected my blog post). I haven't been to Boqueria in the past year, but maybe it's time for another visit.

                              Solea was relatively empty during the week, with around five tables occupied on a Thursday night during the time we were there, but it was a bit more happening on the weekend. Seems like some pretty expensive real estate, so I wonder how they're staying open for breakfast, lunch and dinner service when they have as many wait staff as customers some nights.

                3. You are two blocks from De Rodriguez Cuba, home of the godfather of Nuevo Latino cuisine, I highly recommend his restaurant - for elevated Cuban cuisine.
                  Have a wonderful time in MIA!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LatinFoodinMiami

                    Derodriguez was great had the oxtail in a can -

                    Joes stone crab was asuper cool expereience jeff behind the bar was great (so was everyon)

                    Tap tap has great mojiktos and good food

                    Meat marker was what I expected...would maybe try prime 112 nextime

                    Sushi was good @ sushimamba - thanks everone