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May 7, 2014 03:37 PM

Discovering American Food in Miami

I'm an european guy coming in Miami for two months. I would like to take this opportunity to experiment various kind of food I cannot find home. As such, I am looking at American food (specialities of Florida/Miami in particular, food from Carabean, Central or South American countries, ...), in any form (food to buy in supermarket, street food, small joints, cheap/middle price restaurant, and why not from time to time more fancy restaurant), for any time of the day (mostly lunch and dinner, but will be happy to try breakfast or brunch). I can eat mostly anything.
I am staying in the downtown area, so if it's nearby it's easier for me, but I am willing to go further to try anything good:)
I know it's not really specific, but if you had a friend coming from abroad, who do not know much about American food, where would you take him out (knowing that he would stay two month, and that your purse is limited - so you'll have to make a mix of cheap and less cheap proposition)?
Do you have any suggestions or any specific thread I should take a look into?
thanks a lot in advance for your help,

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  1. Papo Llega y Pon
    El Mago de las Fritas
    Grazianos (original on bird rd)
    El Palacio de Los Jugos

    Other than that

    Has tons of stuff -- not just burgers. Should be right up your alley.

    1. I have several European friends....that I've met through the dog show world....from England, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Poland and the like.....

      And I've prepared all kinds of "American BBQ" for them and they've loved it! Absolutely loved that. Ribs, chicken and brisket.

      Now we know that South Florida isn't a bastion of BBQ but places like Sparky's Roadside BBQ and Brother Jimmy's are quite good and located in downtown Miami.

      Ribs from Sparkys and brisket sliders and smoked wings at Brother Jimmy's are all good and representative of "American food". Would give those a try. And both are reasonably priced.

      Ft. Pierce, FL....

      1. Thanks a lot guys for your answers.
        Just to let you know how I end up writing here. I thought when I arrived in Miami, that I should go to cuban place, try a ceviche somewhere, grab burgers and why not seafood. and as I love mexican food, that I should find a good joint. Then, I started to look at recommandations on the board. And I realized (yes I am naive:) that there are many more things to try in order to experience "local food", such as publix subs for example:)

        tpigeon, what should I try on each of your recommandation? anything randomly, or are there stuffs I should try specifically?

        so thanks for the answer, I'll let you know how it goes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NicBo

          The key lime pie at Publix is surprisingly good. The tastiest Florida seafood will be grouper (often sandwiches) and pink Florida shrimp.

        2. You should also do something like Joes stone crabs or Joe's takeaway (cheaper option) once while you are here.

          I also forgot about My Ceviche which is in brickell.

          Get a grouper sandwich at Casablanca and/or Garcias too.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tpigeon

            Although stone crab season closes in 1 week, May 15.

            1. re: Veggo

              Good point, so go quickly. Still, if you don't make it before the end of the season, the fried chicken is a great bargain at Joes and they do serve an excellent key lime pie.

              1. re: tpigeon

                ........... not many dishes as uniquely American/Florida/Miami as Stone Crabs and Key Lime Pie. Eating at the Takeaway allows my slice to defrost. I have not been there in forever but what would you say about him visiting Tap Tap?

                1. re: stuartlafonda

                  I have not been in a while. I tried to keep my recs off the beach as they are downtown but they should definitely try tap tap if they plan to be on the beach more than once during their stay. I recommended Joes even though it is on the beach because it is an institution and is one of a kind so I would go there first.

          2. Fun thread (finally!).....But here in South Florida....there really isn't much in the way of "American Food".....We're a multicultural and multilingual society here....with many different foods from many different places prepared in many different ways with many different spices and many different taste profiles....LOL!

            I recommended BBQ because that is uniquely American fare....But the beauty of South Florida is that there are so many different choices.....Want great seafood? Head to the Miami River docks and the joints there.....Want great Mexican....head south to Homestead.....Want Cuban?....A spot on most every corner with something great to offer.....

            A lot of choices....

            Ft. Pierce, FL..

            2 Replies
            1. re: LargeLife

              Sorry I was not very precise in my request. When I spoke about American, i was refering to the continent, including south, central, north America, which, as you say, appears to me as one of the beauty of Miami, regrouping all of those cultures.
              Yesterday, I tried to try some of the adress you provided, but everything was closed (it was between 9 and 10 pm:). Need to check beforehand (usually, where I come from, restaurant close at 11 pm - did not think about that before:).
              I'll try some of that this week end:)


              1. re: NicBo

                Nico sounds like a wild and crazy guy!