Sunny isles/North Miami Beach\Aventura
We went to several places mentioned below...
Gourmet Carrot- really nice atmosphere, lots of helpful waiters, fair prices. The place is fairly new and they seem to want to impress. Husband ordered a steak sandwich with sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms, which came with fries. I had a salad with mango, macadamia nuts, and peppers with grilled tofu on the side. The menu had lots to offer- a full page of salads (with the option of adding chicken, several types of fish, steak, tofu), sandwiches and wraps, gourmet burgers and more expensive chicken, fish, and steak entrees. Portions were very large- two people could have easily shared my salad with tofu. Kids menu offered about 5 or 6 options with choices of sides.
Gigi Cafe- went for lunch with husband's grandparents. They loved it, husband and I thought it was overpriced and just ok. The shakshuka was very spicy and the eggs were overcooked. Kids portion of pasta tasted like the sauce was from a jar. Eggplant sandwich was bland. Tuna sandwich was dripping with mayo. I wouldn't run back, but it was nice to eat outside. Service was painfully slow.
Pita Plus- in Loehmann's Plaza. Always consistent, good food. Large portions and made to order. We had falafel and grilled chicken sandwiches. The cook behind the counter was really nice and joked around while he made the sandwiches. Surprisingly busy for a weeknight.
Thai Treat- loved it. We went with others who were on no salt/no sugar diets. Waitress made some suggestions and it worked out very well. I had the tofu and vegetable stir fry with ginger sauce. Others ordered a spicy beed stir fry with cashews, crispy beef (fried), sweet potato fries (really interesting texture, they were white sweet potatoes with a crunchy coating), and a tom yum soup. Service was good, and it seemed like many families were dining there- large menu with kid friendly options, sushi, helpful straff.
Bon Ami- in Hollywood. Israeli dairy restaurant. Large variety and not as expensive as Ritz or Weber's. Two young waitresses who were eager to please- service was very efficient. I asked a few questions about the feta cheese, and the waitress was happy to show me the label. Went with another couple- I had a Greek salad, the others had fettucine alfredo with mushrooms, and linguini with tomato/basil sauce and mozarella. We shared a hummus appetizer with pita pita bread- excellent homemade hummus. They grilled the pita, which was a nice touch. Seemed like their specialty was stir fried or grilled fish over salad. Several different types on the menu, and other tables were ordering those dishes. I would definitely go back here...
Grill Time- Good place to go with a group, since they have round tables. We were about 8, and a reservation was definitely necessary, as the place was very crowded. The salads on the table to start were good (I only say that for the ones that were mayo free) and the pita was fresh and warm. I had the tori yaki chicken, which came topped with sauteed peppers and onions. It was pretty good, different than the way it came last year when I had it. My only complaint is the way they serve their side dishes- small plates for everyone to share. They brought two cones of fries, but only one small scoop of rice and one of mashed potatoes. The waiter seemed to disappear when we asked for another side of rice.
We also went into Jacob's Market a few times- it's in Gulfstream Casino shopping area. They had a huge variety of meat takeout and a large display of rotisserie chickens. The dairy takeout is pizza and bourakas. There's a few tables inside and a large seating area outside. The Sun Times had an ad with specials- $7.99 for a rotisserie chicken, $6.99 for a deli turkey sandwich, $12.99 for a pizza with fries. We had the pizza one afternoon for lunch-- excellent.
Cheesecake: I was in Hallandale dec-Jan and ate in every place you reviewed. You were right on target with all your comments. Additonal points: Grill Time has lunch specials which are less expensive, quite good and no huge crowds to contend with. China Bistro in Waterways is a bit expensive but never disappoints and sitting outside is great! Used Jacob's for Shabbos shopping a couple of times. Very good prepared foods. ( Rivals Kosher Kingdom and Sara's Tent!)
17 was fantastic downtown for sushi and mac and cheese
Going back in Feb-Mar Will try the Harding Ave places.
No more Sara's( another kosher place is opening in its spot) but down the block (on 123rd) is Thai Treat a most wonderful Fleshig Indian and Thai restaurant. Also, Waterways in Aventura has
China Bistro for asian, GiGi's Cafe for Pizza, Israeli etc.,Weber;s for French Dairy and just opened from SB, Gourmet Carrot which was great down town( Meat)
From Great Kosher Restaurants:
SOUTH FLORIDA: STATE-OF-THE-RESTAURANT ADDRESS
Elan Kornblum, Publisher- 01/08/11
South Florida has always been very seasonal for restaurants but for some reason this year there is so much more activity. Restaurants switching locations, expanding, adding locations - you name it, Miami is doing it.
Where do I start? Let's see.. and try to follow. Gourmet Carrot in South Beach moved to the Aventura Waterways where Pita Hut used to be (which used to be La Valentina, which used to be Prime Grill).
West Avenue Cafe has replaced Gourmet Carrot in South Beach.
Then Pita Hut, which already has a location on 41st Street, moved out of the Waterways and into North Miami, taking off for the now closed Yotvata. Jona's Pizza and Jona's Grill in North Miami is opening a pizza store on 41st Street, on the same block as Shem Tov, no less. Meanwhile, Shem Tov will be going under a major renovation as they expand into the location of Kosher World, calling it "Beyond: Pizza & Wine" while keeping the name of ShemTov (they will have extra seating for Yeshiva Week). Staying around 41st Street, there is 41 on the Bay in Tower 41, run by David Nesser & Greenwald Caterers; Europa Grill is in the Days Inn; Asi's Grill took over Mr. Chopstick on Royal Palm Avenue; Pistachio Gourmet Grill took over Sam's Deli as a nice upgrade; and Prime Sushi, with a location on 41st Street, has been getting rave reviews from their second location in Sunny Isles Beach.
Meanwhile, Chai Wok, which is partly-owned by the same people as Jerusalem Pizza on 163rd in North Miami, is now in the former location of Fu Xing. And Sara's Restaurant on 123rd Street lives on...well kind of. The owners of The Fresh Diet and now the newly addedThe Kosher Fresh Diet has taken over the institution restaurant, calling it The Fresh Cafe. In fact, in the next several months, they will be opening up a meat restaurant next door, called The Fresh Deli. And Bissaleh which used to be a Miami institution of its own, closed last year, but has re-opened under new ownership but in a tiny location, in the same complex as Prime Sushi and Lul Café.
And rumor has it that there is a nice dairy restaurant opening up in the Loehmann's Plaza on Biscayne and 187th behind Publix - but I drove around and couldn't find anything, so I'll keep an eye out for that.
And of course, you still have all the established restaurants that have been consistently good over the years: Rare Steakhouse, Cine Citta, Thai Treat, Grill Time, Café Emunah, etc.
Sara's in Hollywood is still there; went there while on vacation in December.
Sara's on 123rd was still empty, didn't see any signs of anything going on there yet.
Thai Treat is the best thing since sliced bread, wish it was up here in NY.
Aventura has got lots of places to eat too
Wow! I spent two vacations in Miami beach and really grew to love the food there. I really liked Sam's Deli (they were the ones that we purchased food from that got shipped to our cruise)- are the owners of Pistachio Gourmet Grill the same as the owners from Sam's? I also really liked Mr. Chopstick- rivaled Tein Li Chow in Chicago in terms of it's Chinese food and had some of my favorite sushi anywhere. Sad to see both of them go. Why so many changes at once? It seemed like the restaurants were full and stable when we were there last in February 2010.