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Black Brick

Has anyone tried it yet?

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  1. I got only a small sample of a few items (szechuan pepper spiced peanuts, jellyfish salad, cold chicken thighs w chili oil) during a visit the day before they opened, but what I tried - and what I saw in the works - was excellent. Itching to get back to try the rest of the menu, which looks great

    5 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor

      I had a much larger sampling last night which included the dishes frod tried and had a great meal. I recommend anything in particular that has noodles or noodle wrappings i.e. dan dan noodles, wonton soup, pork flatbread (comes out like a large dumpling).

      Besides the noodles, the cold chicken thighs and especially the ma po tofu, really stood out.

      The peanuts and jellyfish are very good starter options as well.

      They said they are going to slowly be rolling out dim sum starting today btw.

      Frod, perhaps we should arrange a full menu takedown once the full dim sum menu is rolling...

      1. re: tpigeon

        I think we might have to give Black Brick a try this week before the holiday tourists arrive.

          1. re: Frodnesor

            xmas?

            Edit -- nevermind xmas -- blackbrick is doing a special dinner xmas night.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Update: paid my first official visit last night. I had high hopes and wasn't disappointed. They are still basically in soft open mode and the menu is gradually being expanded, but everything we had was very good to great and service was very efficient. Laobing w charsiu pork, dandan mien, gung bao rabbit, "Three Treasures" veg in particular all recommended, as well as those cold chicken thighs I had before.

          1. re: LargeLife

            Across the street from sakaya kitchen

          2. We just called and they do not take reservations! Not sure how busy they are and if we should chance getting in tomorrow night. Has anyone been there for dinner this week, and if so was there a wait.

            1. We tried Black Brick last night. The parking was tight, only one space on the street available at 6:30. I don't think there was any parking available in the area when we left, and no valet anywhere.

              The food was good, not great and certainly not close to what we have had on our trips to China.

              The won ton soup was made Hong Kong style, great roast pork, dumplings and noodles that were much too thick to even resemble any soup noodles in Hong Kong. That bowl of soup could be a meal in itself!

              We also sampled the scallops, they were okay, The dandan noodles were the same noodles that were in our soup, not the thinner noodles that are used throughout China. They were very tasty with a little heat. I would not order the flat bread again, much too doughy. We also had a mixed veggie dish with tofu that had lots of mushrooms which was pretty good.

              There were a few tables taken outside and we were the only people inside other than 3 folks at the bar.

              We live in North Dade and I'm not sure we would go down to mid town again to Black Brick. It is certainly better than the local Chinese restaurants in Miami, but not worth a return trip unless we were in the area already.

              1. Yes and I love what Chef Hales and crew are doing.

                Must start with the Chinese Roti Prata with his special spices.
                Then try the Hong Kong Style Wonton Soup. Nice broth with good house-made noodles and pork.

                The only dim sum I've tried was the Cumin Lamb Dumplings which had some nice heat.

                Dishes to get

                Pork Char Siu Laobing Chinese Bing

                Numbing and Hot Chinese Spareribs with Cilantro

                Dandan Mian Berkshire Pork, Sesame Paste, Sichuan Pepper and crushed peanuts.

                Yeung Chow Duck Fried Rice featuring great Duroc Bacon, Lap Chung Sausage, Roast Duck and Egg.

                Spicy Dry Wok Green Beans

                Twice Cooked Kale in Chili Bean Past

                Chilled Poached Chicken Thighs Skin On with Spring Onion and Spicy Sichuanese Sauce

                Three Treasures- Di San Xian Swank Farms Eggplant, Peppers and Potato.

                Gung Bao Rabbit- roasted fresh chili peanut, jalapeño Sichuan pepper

                4 Replies
                1. re: The Chowfather

                  I'm probably dropping in tomorrow to get some takeout which I will likely use Sunday for Super Bowl eats.

                  Any on this list that would be particularly most (or least) recommended for reheating?

                  1. re: CFByrne

                    I would ask the chef, but the egg rolls are awesome (I am normally not into egg rolls).

                    1. re: CFByrne

                      Noodles don't travel particularly well. You'll want to get the egg rolls out of the box so they don't steam and get soggy. Everything else out to do pretty well.

                      1. re: CFByrne

                        I've done takeout before and it's packaged right and traveled well. Of course, you can't beat fresh off the wok... but still better than no BB

                    2. If you are interested in all things food-related, and want to enjoy some of the best dim sum and other Chinese dishes in Florida, here’s a simple plan.

                      I executed this with Mrs CFB this weekend, and it was terrific, fantastic, delightful, you name it…

                      *Arrive at Blackbrick at 11:25AM Sunday morning.

                      *Upon opening at 11:30, take a seat at the counter, where you will likely be one of the few people in the store at that point. Asian cooks will be working on prep, and if you are lucky, owner / chef Richard Hales will be working too (Photo 1 5393). Start ordering dishes such as…

                      *Pork pan fried dumpling, handed to you 5 seconds after it’s out of the pan (Photo 2 5419)…

                      *Shrimp Sui Mei, handed to you 5 seconds after it’s out of the steamer (Photo 3 5389)…

                      *Strike up a conversation with the cooks, who, since it is still early and empty, will be glad to talk food with you…

                      *Maybe try the Seasonal Vegetable and Shrimp Egg Roll with Pumpkin Sweet and Sour (outrageous!)… handed to you 5 seconds after it’s out of the fryer (Photo 4 5381)…

                      *Whatever you do, don’t miss the Shou Zhua Bing “Hand Grab Pancake” w Scrambled eggs, cumin chicken, roti pancake, handed to you (ok you get the idea) (Photo 5, 5387)…

                      *Steamed vanilla custard bun (Photo 6, 5390)…

                      *Chilled Watermelon, Nasturtium Chili Oil, Mint ($7) (Photo 7, 5400)…

                      *And you can even order some takeout for later, maybe this Yueng Chow Fried Rice w Duroc Bacon, Lap Cheong Sausage, Duck and Egg (Photo 8, 5420)…

                      *Finally, take a photo of the idle cart, which you could now care less about, because you’ve just had some of the tastiest, freshest Chinese in your life (Photo 5369).

                      So, this plan worked great for me. Your mileage may vary. But if you are all about the food… here you go.

                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       
                      7 Replies
                      1. re: CFByrne

                        Thanks for this post and all the great photos! If CFByrne, Chowfather, Frod and TPigeon all sign off on this place....then its a great place! I'm going there soon.

                        I'm an Asian / Chinese food simpleton. I'm going for the rice and I'm sure it will be great.

                        EMac
                        Ft. Pierce, FL

                        1. re: CFByrne

                          Now that, CFByrne, sounds like a blast!

                          1. re: LiveRock

                            Hey all - this thread is making me un-retire from the Chowhound Board.

                            I found BlackBrick so profoundly awful that I had to check the board to see if others felt the same way. Really surprised to see the glowing reviews.

                            Now, I liked Sakaya Kitchen but soon found everything on the menu too heavy to eat on a semi-regular basis. But that did not prepare me for BlackBrick.

                            Off the top of my head....

                            The dumplings were overly fried and hard as rocks.

                            The Peking Duck necks were unspeakable and I hope to banish them from my memory ASAP.

                            The ribs were bite-size but had no meat to bite.

                            Had two types of Noodles. They weren't bad, not offensive. But one of the noodles was just parpardelle from a box with some Asian sauces.

                            The Peking Duck had no flavor and there was no crispy skin! It was build-your-own with large leaden buns. It had me dreaming of Tropical Chinese for the rest of the weekend.

                            And the worst, could not finish one bite, was the General Tso's Gator. Flabby gator - did not even remotely taste like gator. Maybe this was because it was drowned in gloppy putridly sweet sauce.

                            I do not get it. One of the worst restaurant meals I ever had.

                            1. re: nikklos

                              I've received similar feedback. Seems to be a real love or hate spot. i haven't been back in a while so not sure if there is a consistency issue but I've enjoyed my visits.

                              1. re: The Chowfather

                                Never had a bad meal there on multiple visits. I went again yesterday for their brunch and loved every non-traditional part of it. In particular, the lobster dumplings with butter were awesome and are among the best dumplings I ever had.

                                1. re: tpigeon

                                  Those lobster dumplings with the fenugreek drawn butter are pretty awesome.

                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    Lobster dumplings with butter certainly sound amazing. I mean what could be better? Unfortunately, they were not on the House of Horrors that was my menu selection that evening.

                                    Who knows, maybe the dim sum brunch is better. I won't find out though because I cannot give this place a second chance.

                        2. Overrated for the price. Typical Miami hype on the board.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: taiga

                            "For the price"
                            $15 for a 3 course lunch?
                            I'm the biggest cheap-ass on the board, and I disagree.

                            1. re: non sequitur

                              Yes, you are correct if you stick to this and drink nothing. On the other hand, what I'm inelegantly suggesting is that if one orders a few things routinely, has a drink, and tips 20%, how much will it cost you in this simple, lovely place? In the midrange, Miami stinks. In the upper end, Miami is a pretentious joke. I do not blame the restaurant owners by themselves. Rent, ingredients, labor costs, etc. make eating an expensive proposition.

                              1. re: taiga

                                Having just come from Paris, where I paid 8E for a cup of tea and 9E for a chocolate bar, everything in Miami seems to be reasonably priced, especially with Miami Spice going on, but I take your point.

                                1. re: taiga

                                  Probably almost exactly the same as you'd pay anywhere else you got a $15 3-course or dim sum set lunch, had a drink and tipped 20%. Isn't that kind of the nature of dining out? Are there cities that don't charge you for drinks or don't expect you to tip?

                                  Even without the set menu, most apps run $7-10 and most mains are in the $15-20 range except for seafood items. For a city that was just reported to have the 14th highest real estate values in the world, that seems pretty midrange to me (and not remotely different from any number of other cities I've recently visited).

                                  Is it more expensive than a hole in the wall Chinese restaurant? Sure. But it's in Midtown, your elbows won't stick to the table, and you're going to get sustainably farmed Laughing Bird shrimp instead of from some dingy Thai factory farm using slave labor. Sometimes those things are worth a couple bucks.

                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    I'm spoiled from Tokyo, Singapore, and Berlin where I am lucky to spend a lot of time. It's easy to find something stylish and delicious in all three for less than $10, tax and tip included. In Berlin, you can get a drink to boot. Whenever I come back, I eat at home a lot until I get uded to it. I think, and I am stereotyping I suppose, that people in these other cities try to make a living and work on the craft. In Miami, and I'm not suggesting this about Richard Hales who I don't know, there seems to be an ulterior motive sometimes which you can call ambition (or greedy aspiration.) About the slave labor part, I'd suggest Tokyo, Singapore, and Berlin are never about killing workers though the sustainability comments are something Miami could use more of.

                                    1. re: taiga

                                      I can only speak from (very limited) experience about Japan, but I think you're absolutely right that there's much more of a sense of "plying a craft" there. But I also think you can literally count on your two hands the number of independent Miami restaurateurs getting rich in the restaurant biz - and that is probably overstating it.

                                      While I'm sure most people who open restaurants here hope to make lots of money from it, I also think (with some exceptions) that most places peg their prices at what they need to in order to cover their costs, repay their investors, make a living, and (hopefully) stay in business - not what they might want in order to buy Maseratis and luxury yachts. Indeed, few have the market clout to do otherwise.

                                      Do I wish Miami was a place where you could consistently find great $10 meals in pleasant, stylish surroundings? Absolutely. I just don't know if that's realistic. But I tend to throw my support to the places that at least come close.

                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                        As always, very fair. I guess my beef is with developers, food middle men, and landlords then. But Frod, it's a low down dirty shame that food in the US is so expensive.