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quick trip report

Windy Feb 1, 2013 07:07 PM

Was in Miami visiting my mom, and wanted to report back on where we went. I live in San Francisco now, so I tend to focus on foods we can't get (stone crabs, Cuban, other Caribbean). Mom is not a hound and doesn't like eating out, so this can be challenging.

Best meals:
Captain Jim's in North Miami. Unpretentious seafood and super friendly service on paper and plastic plates. Great conch chowder. Well-priced stone crabs ($24-31/pound for however many you want). Juicy black grouper. Best key lime pie I can remember.

Indomania on the beach. Lovely as promised. Do make a reservation; we didn't but they squeezed us in. Best rendang I've had. Mom loved her corn cakes. A few of the sauces were a little sweet. Good wine list--loved the Alsatian Pinot Blanc. Coconut-pandan pancakes with ice cream were a treat, though table next to us raved about black rice pudding. A great value too.

Makoto in Bal Harbour Shops. We had the bentos at lunch. Loved my chirashi and the unusual salad. Proper green tea. Pleasant sitting outside (okay, in the parking lot). Mom ate her salmon without complaint. Service was mixed: friendly, attentive server for our table, but everyone else acted like it was a hassle to greet or seat us.

We had an okay dinner at Sazon on Harding. My paella was fine if bland, but tostones were perfect as was my first colada. Lots of appealing items on the menu. I'd return.

We met cousins at Mozart Cafe in Sunny Isles, which was packed. It's sort of a strange kosher menu--Yemeni? Israel?--with a wide reach. The fresh multigrain bread was the highlight. I had roasted eggplant with labne. Pizza looked good, and Mom said their coffee was very good.

Mom's elderly friend recommended Brazil de Texas, or whatever the churrascuria at Gulfstream is called. The steak was very good, and as soon as I asked for rare, they found rare for me, tracked down ketchup and horseradish. Sausage was juicy and flavorful. Roasted pork loin also a highlight. Fancy salad bar is nothing special aside from the olive oil selection and fresh mozzarella. No unusual meats like anticuchos. Prices are high ($47 each?), especially for coffee ($5+ cappuccino) and huge overly sweer dessert ($9), not to mention $10 valet parking. Service is extremely accommodating, and Mom loved it. Caipirinhas looked great, and I'd have had one if I weren't driving. Happy hour might be that way to go, with meat appetizers.

Also had a fine coffee at Panther Coffee in Wynwood and a red velvet donut at Dunkin Donuts at FLL. The latter had delicious iced coffee. Looked for coconut patties at drugstores on the beach to no avail, but wound up with some Bustelo and guava cookies from Navarro's for gifts.

I had more on my list, including Limon y Sabor, but that's all we had time for this trip.

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