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Nov 13, 2011 02:15 PM

Near or on the way to American Airlines Arena (from Broward)

We will be heading to the AAA from Broward. Looking for an early, casual dinner on the way or nearby that has great food and reasonable prices. No restrictions on type of cuisine other than a requirement that they also serve cocktails. Ideally it will be somewhere in Miami or close enough so as not to have to deal with rush hour traffic. Thanks!

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  1. I would stop off in the Design District or Midtown and hit up Sra Martinez, Michael's Genuine, or Sustain. All have nice cocktail programs and all are just North of AAA. I've done that before many a Heat game and it works out great traffic-wise. If you want to save on parking, there is a garage on NE 2nd Ave between 14th and 15th Street (on your left as you head South to the arena) that is usually $5 and it's only about a 10 minute walk from the arena. When the event is done you can head north on NE 2nd Ave to the 195E causeway and miss all the traffic as you head back to Broward.

    Two other strong suggestions in the same area that have great food but are more casual and only do beer/wine are Harry's Pizzeria and Sakaya Kitchen.

    Sra Martinez
    4000 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL

    7 Replies
    1. re: Blind Mind

      Thanks for the restaurant advice as well as the tip on parking.

      1. re: zook

        The Design District/Midtown choices that Blind Mind gave are all good. If you want something closer to the Arena, such that you could park at the restaurant, leave the car in the lot or at valet and walk to the game, you might consider City Hall (20th and Biscayne) or Bin 18 (18th and Biscayne). They are about 15 minutes from the arena, but you save on parking and avoid the insanity fo getting your car out of the lots in the arena area if it is a high attendance event.

        1. re: Fineas

          Thank you both for the suggestions. All sounded great. We ended up at City Hall which was perfect. We found the menu very interesting. Service was great, food delicious, and the cocktails imaginative. Being able to park in the restaurant's lot all night with their blessings was an added bonus.

          1. re: zook

            I'm glad it worked out. Did you get dessert? The chocolate banana cream pie and the chocolate croissant bread pudding are great.

            1. re: Fineas

              No dessert, which is unusual for me. Maybe next time, as I"m sure there will be a next time.

      2. re: Blind Mind

        > If you want to save on parking, there is a garage on NE 2nd Ave between 14th and 15th Street > (on your left as you head South to the arena) that is usually $5 and it's only about a 10 minute > walk from the arena

        I may hit Harry's then drive over to this lot (near Arsht Center) then walk as described. Thanks!

        1. re: Blind Mind

          > hit up Sra Martinez

          Sounds like if anyone wants to do this, it better be in the next 7 days...

        2. Any futher / new ideas on this?

          I'm heading down to see ColdPlay next Friday.

          Right now I am thinking Harry's Pizza again - since I won't have too much time pre-show.

          7 Replies
          1. re: CFByrne

            Me too please! I want to be able to park and eat and then walk to AAA. Is this possible? I have minimal time as well. Would Bayside be an option even if if I have a mediocre meal? Which seafood joint (besides Bubba Gump ugh) would work in Bayside if I sacrifice?

            City Hall's menu look too plain jane Americanized for my likes. Sra Martinez is probably too expensive. Alcohol served is irrelevant.

            1. re: freakerdude

              Actually, we really enjoyed City Hall...A far better choice than Bayside!

              1. re: freakerdude

                I would avoid Bubba Gump like the plague -- I think it is awful. Los Ranchos is probably the best bet at Bayside.

                Not everything at City Hall is plain jane American, but comfort food American is probably what they do best. I wouldn't get anything that required much subtlety or finesse and I generally don't get fish there, but their fried chicken may be the best in Miami and their chocolate croissant bread pudding and banana cream pie are among the best desserts around. Their burger is very good, as are their chicken wings.

                Bin 18 has a good, interesting menu. Another option is Nove Kitchen, which is conveniently located across the street from the trolley stop that will take you to the AAA. Nove is a weird mix or sushi, fried rice dishes, burgers and izakaya-type dishes, but some of them are very good. I like their ceviche and they do a great roast duck (with excellent sweet potato fries). their salmon carpaccio is a hodge-podge of a dish but it works.

                1. re: freakerdude

                  I visited City Hall once and didn't particularly like it. If you want walking distance to AAA and casual, my first choice would be Sparky's Roadside BBQ - better than decent 'cue, good choice of beers, reasonably priced. I've heard from several people who like cvi.che 105, though I've not tried it.

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Their menu shows quite a good beer selection indeed! Including several of my favorite IPA's:

                    Bell's Two Hearted Ale

                    Cigar CIty Jai Alai

                    DFH 60

                    Southern Tier 2X IPA

                    and even Dale's Gubna (careful with this one!)

                    That said, I'd be more inclined to have these after the show than before.

                    At my age I'm liable to fall asleep at the concert at 9PM if I have a few drinks at 7! Plus my dear wife is my personal D/D as she doesn't drink at all.

                    But I can certainly have a nice dinner here beforehand and go with some soft drinks or a Mich Ultra (aka colored water).

                    Thanks Frod.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      Second Sparky's. You could also park south and hit up any spot in Brickell (Burger & Beer Joint, River Oyster Bar to name a few) then ride the free Metro Mover to the AAA.

                    2. re: freakerdude

                      Be forewarned that both Largo and Tradewinds in Bayside are *outdoor seating only*. On a 91 degree hot and humid day, after a shower, and wearing a long sleeve shirt and blue jeans for a concert, this would not be a good choice (for me anyway)! With very little time, we had to suck it up and go to Chilis. I re-affirmed the reason I have not eaten there in 20 years. Never again! Bubba Gump or Hooter's would have been a blessing from Chili's treacherous food! Concert was great though and we got out of Bayside parking garage and onto the SE 3rd St ramp to 95N in almost no time after the concert!

                  2. There is a really cool little place in Down Town called Soya y Pomodoro it has the feel of of being in a Buenos Aires! No cocktails but they do serve wine and beer!