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Miami with Mom?

I'm bringing my 74-year old Mom to Miami for 4 days between Christmas and New Year's, staying on Miami Beach. I'm thinking we will have two kind of fancy dinners (Yardbird and Tudor House?) but am mainly looking for recommendations for good, solid American fare for breakfast. lunch, and dinner the other two evenings. My mother won't be comfortable eating in expensive places continually and she prefers traditional American breakfast and lunch choices. A place that has broiled and/or fried seafood would be good. She would probably also like Jewish-deli type sandwiches, etc, for lunch. She really likes Southern cooking but it needs to be better than hers, which is no mean feat. Where do blue-haired ladies in Miami go to dine?

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  1. If you are intent on staying on Miami Beach, I'd suggest checking out Tiramisu on Lincoln Road for a dinner. Prices are very fair, food is decent, people watching is good, especially now that dining outside is even better because of the weather. It won't blow you away foodwise but it's a good value. Same with Spris next door which has fantastic pizza. Indomania is a great spot if you like eclectic food. You also might want to check out The Raleigh as Michael Schwartz has taken over food and bev operations there. The bourbon list is legit and probably the best prices on the beach (which are still taxed slightly for being on Miami Beach but still better than anywhere else).

    Also, Chow Down Grill on Alton Road is a great option if you like Asian fare. They have nice daily specials and do a good lunch and/or dinner service. Lots of homemade items there, including their sauces which I really enjoy. Another lunch spot I like that is super casual is Pita Spice on Washington makes some of the best falafel I've had. Their falafel pita is the call there, loaded with everything (the hots are HOT). Same thing with A la Folie on Espanola Way, a nice casual French cafe that serves good crepes and baguettes. Nice atmosphere there.

    I thought Tudor was pretty good but nothing made me fired up to return as in a "gotta have that again" type dish. Yardbird I think is OK too for food (not sure your southern Mom will approve) and bourbon is pretty expensive. Lots of people get all hot and bothered about the Pubbelly restaurants (tapas, sushi, and uh...tapas?) but I think they are good at best and definitely expensive to put together a filling meal there. I tend to disagree with places that I think are overhyped without giving them a proper chance sometimes though so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    Bourbon spots on Miami Beach - The Raleigh (great selection/prices), The Dutch (BarLab makes a fantastic Old Fashioned), Meat Market (another nice selection but might be a bit much of a scene for Mom), Hogzilla (new, I've not been but they boast a good bourbon selection. Friends say bbq there is good too).

    Hope you enjoy Miami Beach!

    1. Yardbird is OK but I suspect it will not be better than your mom's Southern cooking.

      I'd suggest you check out Altamare for a seafood place; it's got an Italian tilt to it but they get excellent fish, most of it local. You could also do Joe's Stone Crab which is a simpler, old-school place though it's not cheap and is very busy; a good option is to do Joe's Take-Away next door (which actually has a few tables); they also do good breakfast.

      The obvious choice for Jewish deli is Jerry's Deli, except that it's terrible. You'll be better off going to Epicure Market and getting something made , they have tables where you can sit down and eat there.

      Icebox Cafe is a decent breakfast option (open for lunch & dinner too) - I haven't been in ages, and it's somewhat inconsistent, but can be good.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Altamare is better than Yardbird for the semi fancy dinner. Yardbird has great desserts though.
        You could do Yardbird for lunch.
        +1 on Jerry's
        I don't like Epicure's corned beef and pastrami I would stick with the fish salads (whitefish, tuna).
        +1 on Joe's Takeout - Might want to try big pink for breakfast too, big pink is inconsistent but their breakfasts tend to be better than lunches and dinners.

        1. re: tpigeon

          Thanks for these suggestions! I'll Google up on them. Thanks also for the bonus bourbon report...the best thing about being a native Kentuckian is holiday + family = bourbon

          1. re: bourbongal

            Yardbird prides themselves on bourbon (but have never tried their drinks)

            1. re: tpigeon

              Yardbird also charges a $2 upcharge if you order any of those bourbons neat, which is just ridiculous for a place that prides itself on bourbon.

              1. re: tpigeon

                The drinks I tried at Yardbird were weak and falsely advertised (menu said Van Winkle 12yr but Benchmark was poured, no discount offer for a very significant difference in quality. And it was an awful drink.). Bourbon list there is high priced and as stated by Frodnesor they upcharge $2 for drinks neat or on the rocks. That's bullshit. Their bourbon selection on my visit claimed 50+ but they didn't have anywhere close to that many in stock. Just hype.

                The best bourbon bar in Miami is Michael's Genuine on the mainland. Sra Martinez and Bourbon Steak get honorable mention but Michael's excels on selection and value.

        2. clarkes has a good breakfast/lunch/dinner (its a gastropub with irish fare but offers a lot of solid american options). It is casual.
          Smith & Wollensky has american food/steak etc and a beautiful view.
          Olivers on West avenue has good american food for brunch/lunch
          Beer & Burger (name says it all), love their burgers
          Books & Books cafe on lincoln road has good standard american food for lunch and dinner
          If you want casual fried seafood, you could head up to shuckers on Normandy or over to CJ's crab shack on Ocean (not places i personally frequent but I have some friends who often enjoy both spots)

          2 Replies
          1. re: morganeats

            Good call on Cafe Books & Books. Solid choice.

            "Beer & Burger" is actually "Burger & Beer Joint" and they have the best burger in Miami in my opinion.

            1. re: morganeats

              These are exactly what I had in mind, thanks!