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Miami and SoBe - questions about a few restaurants

I've visiting my husband this weekend who is down in Miami working until at least December. He's staying in South Beach and I have a few questions about some places.

How is 80z Burger Bar? It's close to the place he is staying. He likes it. This may be a place we go if he doesn't get off until later on Friday night.

Cuban

How is La Camaronera Restaurant & Fish Market? Does it live up to the hype?

Or Versailles Restaurant? Or am I missing the best Cuban place in town?

Do I need reservations for Pubbelly? What are the best dishes at Pubbelly?

Any other suggestions would be helpful as well.

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

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  1. Shake Shack, Burger and Beer Joint, 5 Napkin are all better than 8oz.

    Pubbelly does not do reservations. The 2 best dishes are the cochinillo and the duck a l'orange. Both are usually on the menu.

    7 Replies
    1. re: tpigeon

      I've done Shake Shack in NYC - So I'm looking for something different. Maybe I'll try the other too.

      Good - I'm trying to stick to places that reservations are not required for my first visit down. Until I get a better idea of his schedule and exactly where he's at.

      For Pubbelly I think my idea was to get a bunch of plates and share. I see the duck a l'orange is an entree. We might get that and split it, with other thing plates. Is that the idea of the place? as it looks like they only have 3 entrees. and more apps and small plates.

      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

        Yes. Pubbelly is generally small plates to share. Most items are very good. There is some variation in the menu from day to day but the l'orange and cochinillo seem to be mainstays.

        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

          Again shake shack is not unique -so I wasn't going to waste my time going.

          5 napkins is not as good as 8 oz. Burger bar. In my opinion 8 oz was very good good. I can see how the service can.be off putting at times ( took awhile to get our second drink)

          Did some food trucks last night with the Art Walk.

          Tonight we are doing Pubbelly.

        2. re: tpigeon

          wow, 8oz must really be bad if you think 5 Napkin is better.

          1. re: Blind Mind

            I only went right after they opened and I have to admit that the NYC people were there watching them. I have heard very mixed things since then. I thought the 5 napkin burger was superior to 8oz which has always overcooked my burger. If you like your burgers well done, my opinion means nothing.

            To me, nothing beats shake shack's double shackburger cooked rare. Burger & Beer is second, clarkes is probably 3rd. I have yet to try morgans - same chef as joe allens and they used to make a great hamburger there.

            1. re: tpigeon

              The NYC people were there watching when I was there too. I still thought the burger was one of the worst I've ever had. It was wet and mealy and pretty gross. Never had 8oz, mainly because I've never heard good things.

          2. re: tpigeon

            The guys had been to 5 Napkins and Beer and Burger Joint and all agreed they liked 8 0z better.

            I liked the burger at 80z but the service could use some help.

          3. La Camaronera is the best Cuban shrimp sandwich ever. It is definitely worth the hype and effort for a visit. 8 oz. Burger Bar is overpriced and average any day of the week- but I do love Shake Shack

            3 Replies
            1. re: hollys

              I think 8oz Burger is just so-so.....I've given it three tries......and it was "just OK"......I also love Shake Shack.....Burgers are good, fries are awesome and the "Shark Bite" concrete is amazing.....

              EMac
              Ft. Pierce, FL

              1. re: LargeLife

                La Camaronera is an interesting dive; delicious?????? El Palacio de los Jugos is similarly downscale and serves the same pan con minuta. Versailles is worth a visit; delicious???????

              2. re: hollys

                Didn't get a chance to go this time around but it's on my list. I did want to kind of get a better idea of where he was location wise and now that I know, I can plan a bit better for the next trip down.

              3. Versailles is a place you should definitely try both for the food and the experience...it is not fancy by any means. What else do you think you'd like to experience? What kind of vibe or scene? There are a ton of places that are great fun on a "later" Friday night.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MRS

                  Another one I didn't get a chance to go but my husband said he'll take me here on my next trip or two down.

                  Also I'm looking for more great food casual places money is not of a concern. I don't mind paying for great food.

                2. I'm a big fan of Camaronera, not only the fish or shrimp sandwiches, but the fried fish roe and the fried grouper cheeks (ventrecha frita, I think).

                  I also thought 8oz was just OK, but I'd sooner go to Lost Weekend for a cheesesteak or La Sandwicherie for a pate/camembert sandwich.

                  I liked Pubbelly, but didn't love it. I feel like a lot of the food here hits the same sort of sweet/savory note over and over. If I was in that neighborhood I'd much rather go to Sardinia, which probably won't require a reservation during the summer. I went a few weeks ago on a Sunday night and there were plenty of tables to be had.

                  If you want to stay on the beach for more Cuban food, Puerto Sagua is good. Still, I'd go to Camaronera for the seafood.

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                  La Sandwicherie
                  229 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

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

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Nick

                    I think you have a legit point with pubbelly. However, there are exceptions and I think your concern is more of a regular visit concern moreso than someone going there once. That being said, I manage to eat there pretty regularly and I enjoy my meals there very much. I am still a sardinia fan so I don't need to go there. People think I own the place as it is...

                    Also agreed on your alternatives to 8oz but they are not burgers, I like the cheesesteak at the alibi much more than anything at sandwicherie, however.

                    Chowdown grill opened up very close to 8oz recently and is probably another consideration, especially as it is so close.

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      Funny you should mention the new Chowdown Grill. I went on Friday. I thought the food was decent--I had the duck bao and ramen; my friend had dumplings and hot and sour soup. The service was friendly, but the dishes literally came out of the kitchen one at a time, so that we pretty much had to watch each other eat (aside from some sharing). Kind of frustrating when your order consists of something as simple as two steamed things and two soups. They also brought me yakisoba instead of the ramen soup, but were very apologetic. Would I go back? Probably not, but maybe I'm too easily annoyed by a restaurant with a DJ booth.

                      I don't mean to take the original post off on a tangent. This is all to say that if the OP has a limited amount of time in Miami, there are probably better options.

                      1. re: Nick

                        Wow - Chowdown Grill SoBe literally just opened this Friday. Maybe cut a tiny bit of slack?

                        I've not been impressed by 8 Oz. I tried 5 Napkins once and wasn't exactly overwhelmed by it either, but I'd sooner go back there than 8 Oz. I'd go to Burger & Beer Joint or Shake Shack over both.

                        PubBelly seems to be very much love it or hate it, some people really enjoy it and others can't find anything on the menu that appeals to them. Note to OP: it doesn't take reservations which is a plus and a minus. The minus is that it is often tough to get a seat in prime time, with a line waiting. As for best dishes, I've especially liked the McBelly sandwich, the pan con tomate or any of the little montaditos, the octopus a la plancha, and the seafood kimchi fried rice.

                        taiga - I'd definitely say that the fish sandwich, the shrimp, the black-eyed pea fritters at La Camaronera are all delicious.

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                        The Burger & Beer Joint
                        1766 Bay Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          Seafood kimchi rice can be messy with the shells. Just a warning. It is very good.

                          Frod,

                          Have you tried the cochinillo or the duck? If not, I highly recommend it.

                          P.S. Pubbelly is closed 8/15-8/22. They are taking a 1 week vacation before opening the new place (sometime mid sept).

                          1. re: tpigeon

                            I've not tried either the cochinillo or the duck as I tend to focus on the little plates, but I guess I'll have to try them.

                            1. re: Frodnesor

                              I like the small plates too my husband is a little pickier than me so I had him be the one to order and we were over all satisfied a few of the dishes wowed us. the others were good.

                          2. re: Frodnesor

                            Frod: I almost always agree with you --big, heartfelt, well-earned respect. Moreover, I too find the fish sandwich and fritters particularly delicious. Also quite frankly, I like the place as it appeals to my childhood poverty. However -- a big however -- the atmosphere only appeals to a dive lover, and the "seating", as you know, appeals to absolutely nobody. So if I were planning a weekend in Miami as the poster suggests, I would probably put a bunch of ????????? as she asks about La Camaronera Restaurant & Fish Market alongside Pubbelly and even the others.

                            1. re: taiga

                              Well if having chairs is going to be a requirement ...

                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                Even the trucks are offering seats. This ain't a train station in Japan Frod!

                            2. re: Frodnesor

                              Point taken. Maybe I was being too critical for an opening night. I just wanted the OP to know that the place has some kinks to work out.

                              1. re: Nick

                                Thank you, I like to hear everyone's point of view. Maybe by the time I try it, the kinks will be worked out.

                                He;s down there until at least Dec. If the series he's working on gets picked up, he'll be down there longer. So I am hoping to get a few trips in before then.

                        2. re: Nick

                          I too am a big fan of La Sandwicherie, especially the vegetarian with everything sin cebolla.

                          1. re: taiga

                            Putting La Sanwicherie on the list! Thank you.

                        3. Thank you every one.

                          Had 8oz burger as my husbands work went later than expected Friday. The beer was good, I had the smokehouse burger and I really did enjoy it. Nice crispy bacon, meat had a smokey flavor that was not overdone. good bun that held it all together. Fries were decent. Service could have been a bit better.

                          Went To Pubbelly and enjoyed it. I think there is potential for hit and miss here. Some things we loved some things were good. I did really enjoy the pork belly ramen and the duck and pumpkin dumpling. Fried chicken was good but not a dish that really impressed us.

                          Will do Cuban on my next visit. As things were a go with the flow attitude we ended up at the art walk and food truck gathering on Saturday Night.

                          Food trucks - Does anyone know the name of the Meatball truck. Those meatball sliders were delicious and juicy. One of my favs.

                          The Mezicans food truck - good tacos - Carne Asda and Fish Taco - Fish taco was a little overwelmed in spicy sauce but still good.

                          Sugar Yummy Mama - Cupcakes and Cake pops were very moist and delicious.

                          I am keeping your mentions in mind for my next trip down there.

                          Thanks!