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May 2, 2011 09:09 AM

NEED YOUR HELP: Please critique my Miami/SB itinerary!

HI guys,

Fiancee and I going with another couple to Miami for the last weekend of May. From Toronto, so focusing on regional specialties of Miami and cuisines that are not well represented in our country. Fri to Monday stay. Here is what we have so far:

Lunch - Versailles
Dinner - Michaels

Lunch -Joes Stone Crab (will we still be able to get stone crabs in late May?)
Dinner - Sra Martinez

Lunch - Jimmy's at Wynwood (a friend has told me that Wynwood kitchen is great, but by all accounts here the food is nothing special at all, maybe we should stop by for drinks?)
Are the galleries at Wynwood all closed on Sunday? Should we switch this to Saturday?
Dinner - Here is where we definitely need your help. We love Mexican and its woefully underrepresented in Toronto. What is the best Mexican place in miami or south beach? We are especially fond of amazing Taquerias.

I would love to maybe try Sugarcane or Pubbelly, but the only time I think I can do it is Saturday lunch and skip Jimmyz....should I do this?

Any help you can give would be much appreciated!

Sra Martinez
4000 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

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  1. No stone crabs in May. The general rule of thumb is that there are no stone crabs in months that do not have an "R" in them (May-August) though I believe the season ended some time in April and starts back up some time in September.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Blind Mind

      Oh no...should I still do Joe's or should we hit up another place then?

      1. re: themiguel

        Stone crab season is October 15 - May 15. Personally, I wouldn't waste my time at Joe's even with crabs - they are grossly overpriced and except for the crabs nothing else is worthy but they continue to get away with it..

    2. I disagree with those who say Joe's is grossly overpriced or that there is nothing else to eat there (the stuffed quahogs are very good, the old-school style cole slaw has its fans, including me, their basic fish and seafood preps are fine, and the 1/2 fried chicken for $5.95 is the best deal in town); but I probably wouldn't go if it's not stone crab season.

      Not sure when in the month you're going to be here, but the best time to hit Wynwood with all the galleries open is the second Saturday of the month, when they all open their doors, there are usually several food trucks congregated in the area, etc. Otherwise, particularly as you start getting out of season, you should check individual galleries for opening hours.

      Wynwood Kitchen is a gorgeous space with artwork covering all the walls (and those outside too) but the food pales in comparison to the decorations. Definitely Jimmy's over Wynwood Kitchen.

      Mexican is, unfortunately, not particularly a strong suit in South Florida. I like Cheen Huaye in North Miami, but that's somewhat out of the way for you. Mercadito in Midtown Miami is OK but I don't love it. Your best bet may be to hunt down one of the food trucks (many do tacos, some more authentically Mexican than others) - for straight-ahead tacos, I like the MexZican. If you're really adventurous you can try to hunt down the Orale taco cart (usually parked on 27th Avenue west of SR836 during the week). I hear good things about El Rinconcito on 8th Street, I also like Jacalito on Flagler near the corner of Douglas Road (believe it may be the same owners as Rinconcito).

      I don't believe Pubbelly is open for lunch. Choosing between Jimmyz and Sugarcane is largely a matter of what you're looking for, very different places, Jimmyz much more straightforward and hearty, Sugarcane more adventurous and diverse.

      Cheen Huaye
      15400 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura, FL 33160

      Wynwood Kitchen and Bar
      2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127

      5 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Awesome, really appreciate the info. I think the food truck is the way to go, as an authentic mexican taqueria truck experience is something we just dont have in Toronto. Will definitely skip Joe's and do another lunch then, probably Sugarcane if they are open.

        1. re: themiguel

          your best bet in sobe is the pulled pork taco at Bernies LA cafe. His other tacos are good too.

        2. re: Frodnesor

          Actually I definitely dont mind paying for a cab to go to Cheen Huaye - it only looks like a 20 minute drive tops from South Beach, and if its awesome Mexican I need to have it!

          Cheen Huaye
          15400 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura, FL 33160

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

          1. re: themiguel

            Not sure Cheen Huaye is so good that I'd suggest a 20 minute drive and one of only a few meals while you're in town. If it's a taqueria experience you're after, I'd sooner do Jacalito or perhaps Rinconcito.

            Cheen Huaye
            15400 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura, FL 33160

          2. re: Frodnesor

            Joe's takeaway is probably the call in the off season.

          3. Do not come to Miami for Mexican food. If it is underrepresented in Toronto it is almost non existent in Miami.

            6 Replies
            1. re: mom2mateo

              Toronto's Mexican is atrocious. Believe me when I say there is no way Miami has worse Mexican. We do not have any food trucks of note, almost 80% of restaurants in the city are Tex Mex garbage and the few places that churn out halfway decent fare wouldnt survive anywhere in the U.S.A for long.

              Orale sounds amazing as does the other truck options, and I may very well still get a drive up to that spot tpigeon mentioned, that's how starved we are for decent options.

              1. re: themiguel

                I definitely wouldn't take a cab up to Cheen Huaye, even though I really like their food. The best Mexican you'll find, in my opinion, is down in the Florida City/Redlands area, Tacqueria Morelia in particular, and that's a pretty good hike from South Beach.

                As for Joe's, if you can do the take-out, just get some claws and half a fried chicken and go sit in South Point Park.

                Pubbelly is OK, but if I was on that block, I'd much rather go to Sardinia. They do lunch, don't they?

                1. re: Nick

                  yes and they (sardinia) have 2 standouts for lunch churrasco and the octopus fregola appetizer.

                  1. re: tpigeon

                    Sardinias is a cant-miss....have been there several times.....and it's been great every time....Casa Tua is also a can't miss......Exceptional every time.....Joe's will be closed...but for anyone to suggest their crabs are over-priced and aren't good borders on insanity.....You can eat stone crabs at many different places....and they're very good....But for whatever reason....they're ALWAYS better at Joe's......And in many cases....Joe's actually SELLS crabs to other restaurants!!.....They have expanded their 'take away' side so if the incredible service inside turns you off (somehow) than hit the "to go" side and you will have a very good experience.....

                    Ft. Pierce, FL

                    1. re: tpigeon


                      Here is my version of your plan w/some vacation-friendly tweaks. Last weekend in May is on SW 8th Street so have your Mexican food and then see the Calle late afternoon.You can also buy tix to the hop on hop off bus to combine sightseeing and dining

                      Fri -

                      LUNCH: Skip Versailles and hit nearby Riconcito Mexicano 1961 SW 8th Street
                      DINNER: Walk Design District before dusk (galleries & showrooms are open) then have drinks & apps at Sra Martinez then dinner @Michael's - late drinks Mai Tardi

                      Sat -

                      LUNCH: Joe's Takeaway by the water in South Pointe Park then drinks Smith & Wollensky outdoor bar (cruise ships pass by late afternoon
                      )DINNER: Check out Wynwood galleries before dusk & a drinks (only) at Wynwood Kitchen before dinner at JimmyZ Wynwood


                      LUNCH: Do Sunday Ssam at Sakaya Kitchen MidTown
                      DINNER: food trucks at Haulover Beach 108/Collins Av near the kite flying kiosk (look for the kites)


                      Sra Martinez
                      4000 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

                      Smith & Wollensky
                      1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                      Wynwood Kitchen and Bar
                      2550 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127

                      1. re: advisor_Girl

                        Thanks Advisor Girl! Will definitely be incorporating some of these suggestions into our itinerary.