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Jan 17, 2012 10:25 AM

nyc'er coming to miami for one night

my wife and i are staying in miami one night and half a day on our way down through the keys in february. we're staying at the hotel (collins and 8th street). where should we eat for one dinner, one breakfast, and one lunch? we'll eat anything, cheap or expensive, provided that it's awesome.

not really interested in anything we can get back in nyc (i.e., the dutch, nobu, scarpetta).


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  1. Why is it only "NYC'ers" say where they're from when post? You don't really see posts saying "Hey gals from Dallas coming to town" or "Group from Boston comin' your way". Just an observation.

    As for suggestions, aside from nixing anything you can get back in New York (which, in the case of the Dutch I'd go to anyway because the vibes are entirely different), can you be a little more specific on what you're looking for? It's tough when your search runs from "cheap to expensive". It's great you're open to try things, but a little more specificity will help with the recs. And as another suggestion you should try looking through the posts on this board. The "I'm coming to South Beach, where should I eat" post has been addressed ad nauseum.

    11 Replies
    1. re: lax2mia

      Lax that is not true about only nycers saying where they are from. If you look at the nyc boards a good portion of visitors state where they are from.

      Joe's stone crab has stone crab (mustard) and alaskan king crab claws (get steamed with butter) and a great key lime pie. The takeout is also great and their breakfast (takeout) is very good. You can sit down in the takeout.

      Beyond that, I would like to know if you are willing to drive.

      here is a pretty good thread on the same subject

      1. re: tpigeon

        thanks tpigeon. we have joe's high up on our list and are interested in hearing about other places. i've read that michael's genuine is great too. anyway, yes, we will have a car and we're willing to go anywhere.

        as for our range, we're good really on anything, from a little hole in the wall place that serves the best [something] to an over-the-top blow out dinner. frankly, would prefer to have a fancier dinner than lunch.

        and i think it's helpful to say where you're coming from so posters can make better recommendations (meaning, you may suggest one place if i'm coming from colorado but another if i'm coming from new york because i can get the same or similar thing in new york but i couldn't in colorado; apologies; i digress).

        1. re: jon

          In that case you should look at the link I posted above. That info is still good.

          I would add Pappo Llega Y Pon for a lunch option, which has the best pork sandwich I have eaten anywhere. I put loads of extra hot sauce on mine.

          1. re: jon

            If price is no object, goto the villa by Barton g....it is located in Versace's villa

            1. re: Raisel

              Price is important, but if it's delicious then it's less important. How is this place?

        2. re: lax2mia

          C'mon now "LAX" what's with all the NY bashing? You know you love going there to eat....

          1. re: The Chowfather

            Not bashing the city, just wonder why people have to say they're coming from there when visiting here. Will it make a difference in our recommendations?

            That observation was just joshing around. The lack of specificity that made it tougher to make recs. Frod's recs are good with the exception of Ice Box which I've completely given up on. Grabbing lunch at Joe's takeaway and heading to the beach would be ideal. Then dinner across the causeway at Michael's, Sra Martinez, Sugarcane, Sustain, etc.

            1. re: lax2mia

              "Not bashing the city, just wonder why people have to say they're coming from there when visiting here. Will it make a difference in our recommendations?"


              I hope so! As a NYer visiting Miami, my preference is not to go to restaurants like Shake Shack, Five Napkin, Scarpetta, etc. I certainly will take the poster's location into account when I give them recs. For example, I will be hesitant to recommend Cuban or Peruvian or Smith and Wollensky to a traveler from Miami.

              That said, judging from all the US tourists eating at Red Lobster and Applebee's in NYC, I guess some folks don't mind eating what they can find in their own backyard!

              1. re: Miss Needle

                I wouldn't recommend S&W for food regardless where you are from. Drinks and view are great though.

                I actually think the cuban food in nyc is better than miami btw.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  Thing is even thought they're the same restaurants in name, there's tweaks in the menu that would make it worth going to. For instance I wouldn't hesitate recommending The Dutch in MIA to a New Yorker - the vibe and tweaks in the menu make it worth visiting. My opinion is it's more helpful to get recs when you say what you're looking vs. just saying where you're from.

                  And as an aside, you forgot the TGI Friday's in Times Square. That place is a gold mine!

          2. One dinner, one breakfast, one lunch, and you want a taste of Miami?

            I'd do Michael's Genuine for dinner, Joe's for lunch (takeaway if you like), and breakfast is a bit of a tossup. There's nothing consistently good on South Beach that I know of: Icebox Cafe can be good but is inconsistent; Big Pink is usually not so good and is inconsistent . And I'm not sure that Buena Vista Deli or Crumb on Parchment, both on the mainland in/near the Design District, are worth a trek off the beach just for breakfast (even though I like both of them quite a bit). Much as you say you don't want what you can get back in NYC, I might be inclined to check out breakfast at the Dutch. (ETA:) Or Tudor House, which is only a few blocks from where you're staying.

            There are also plenty of very good restaurants you could go to for dinner other than MGF&D that you won't find in NYC either, a little perusing of this board will lead you to several.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Frodnesor

              figured i'd let everyone know where we did end up eating while in miami. had one dinner, one breakfast and one lunch.

              good but uneven dinner at michael's genuine food & drink. not sure what i was expecting, but i wasn't expecting eating in an alley in the middle of a strip mall that reminded me of the americana in manhasset. anyway, to begin, we had the onion dip with chips, the crispy rice with chorizo and fried egg, char-grilled octopus with stewed tomatoes and gigante beans, and the greek farro salad. the onion dip was good, a bit fancier than what you would eat at a football tailgate, but i was hoping the chips would be hot, which they weren't. the crispy rice was a standout, especially after cracking the yolk and mixing it was the crispy bits of rice. octopus was good, tender, but the tomatoes were overpowering. the salad was a huge disappointment: run of the mill kalamata olives and feta and the farro was so dry we needed water to wash it down.

              for the main, we split the chicken for two with pinenuts and raisins. this was great. nice, juicy chicken, cut-up and presented on a small butcher block. only complaint: when i make a roast chicken at home, i like to pick at the bones and the underbelly but those parts weren't presented. we had roast cauliflower with parsley butter as a side. these were spectacular. nicely charred and the parsley butter added a great dimension to the vegetable.

              for dessert, we split the tangerine creamsicle pot de creme with warm donuts and jam. ethereal. according to the waitress, these were featured on some food network show. i could have ate a dozen of the donuts and a pint of the creme. excellent.

              service was very good and my sonny collins cocktail (bourbon and lavender tea) was excellent. however, we left feeling there wasn't any difference between this restaurant and any of the dozens "farm to table" places we find back in nyc and brooklyn. don't get me wrong, the food was good, and i appreciate the use of local ingredients, etc., but the concept didn't seem that new or exciting to me.

              breakfast at the dutch. this place is an embarrassment. the food was so bad and expensive that it makes me question whether to return to the original in nyc. it seemed like such a blatant cash-grab. $26 for 2 eggs, potatoes, toast, bacon and coffee and oj? $6 for oj? $16 for a breakfast burrito with no sides. $12 for a plate of fruit that looked like it was taken out of a container found at checkout at winn/dixie? i get it: you're a restaurant in a hotel/condo on the beach. but come on, have some respect for your diners. watery eggs, soggy waffles, jarred maple syrup and jams (the kinds you get at a holiday inn breakfast) and awful attempts at upselling (really, do i need toast with a burrito?). and $65 (without tip or tax) for breakfast. i would have expected this from one of the places with the menu-hawkers on south beach but not here. unconscionable.

              lunch at joe's stone crab takeaway. excellent. we split an order of 7 selects, 1 lb of steamed shrimp, and a key lime. could not have asked for a better way to end our trip. the stone crabs were great, expertly cracked, sweet, and the mayo-ish dipping sauce was spectacular. the shrimp were great and made even better with the cocktail-like sauce. and the key lime pie was divine. wish we had been able to eat at the actual restaurant, but we sat at the horseshoe counter and devoured our meal before our flight. as i said, a great way to end the week.

              thanks for the recommendations.

              1. re: jon

                Thanks for the follow-up, always appreciated. A few comments -

                1 - Just have to ask for the carcass when you get the whole chicken at MGFD, they'll gladly oblige (I always do too).

                2 - I don't know that MGFD is thought of as "new" or "exciting" conceptually (though the farm-to-table thing was a bit moreso 5 years ago when it opened); like most farm-to-table places, it's just good food with a local bent and probably the best example of its kind in Miami.

                3 - Sorry to hear that about the Dutch - still haven't gotten over there myself.

                1. re: jon

                  Thanks for posting your experiences. It's good to see what our favorites are look to a visitor. Michael's is a perfect example. Before Michael's there were restaurants that used local ingredients here and there, but none that focused on them as obsessively as Michael's. To that point it has a soft spot in many Miamians hearts. It wasn't the first in the country to do it, but it was the first here. As for the location, history also plays a role. Before Michael's opened the Design District was almost completely desolate at night (aside from the monthly art walk). Since then it's become the anchor of a dining destination that didn't exist 5 years ago. So yes while Michael's is one of many farm to table restaurants in the country, but it's our farm to table restaurant and hopefully this little blurb helps explain locals' enthusiasm for it.

                  As for The Dutch, your experience sounds horrible! It seems like breakfast must be where they bring out the tourist money sucking fangs. I've had lunch, dinner and snacks there multiple times and have never felt ripped off. Had I been in your shoes I'd feel the same. Shame they'd stoop down that low.

                  And the only thing better than your meal at Joe's Takeaway would've been to have taken down the street to the beach or the park. For some reason stone crabs always seem to taste better outdoors.

                  1. re: jon

                    Alley in a strip mall? To anyone reading your recap that is ridiculously misleading. The way you describe it sounds like a dump. To anyone looking for advice, the neighborhood is a high-end area with a Loubouton shoe store selling $600 women's shoes and many other stores that sell high end furniture and art. Hardly classifies as a "strip mall".

                    1. re: Blind Mind

                      actually i said it was a strip mall that reminded me of the americana, which is a high-end strip mall. also, people should know that if they go there and request a table outside, their view may be the same as mine, which was of two commercial overflowing dumpsters, alley litter, a chain-linked fence, and a hair salon.

                      1. re: jon

                        It would probably be most accurate to describe the outdoor seating area as a "courtyard" as opposed to an "alley." While it is not the nicest of courtyards, it is certainly not an alley.

                        I have always been underwhelmed by the ambiance of the outdoor dining experience at Michael's. However I believe that the appeal of the restaurant is the food and not the ambiance. The main dining room is quite nice though, in my opinion.

                        1. re: jon

                          I'm from Manhasset and I can vouch that the Americana is very high end! More like a strip mall Rodeo Drive. Have to say the terrace at Michaels may bear a passing resemblance to the outside of that Italian rest there.

                      2. re: jon

                        OMG thank U Jon, I am lmao! I completely concur!

                        Next time U got a one day layover in the MIA from the NYC, do this:

                        1. Front Porch or News Cafe for Breakfast
                        2. Zuma or Garcia's for Lunch both are on the Miami River, Fancy vs Rustic Asian vs Cuban Seafood.
                        3. Joe's for Dinner U gotta get inside those majestic walls...get there early or late, or be prepared to stalk a menu boy with a 20/50 or a hundo, or to wait an hour or two. Or since you already kinda got the Joe's experience now, GO2: CVI.CHE 105...nIIIce!!!