Pelican Cafe: Ocean Blvd food
A throng of restaurants with pushy hosts will try to elicit your business every chance they get, occassionally it works.
Pelican Cafe is one such place that worked on us. All in all, not bad - but nothing we decided to go back to during our week stay.
Honestly, I can't even remember what we ate, just not that good or that bad.
A place to stop for lunch, but remember you'll pay more for food, taxes and tip on Ocean Blvd. Not worth it here.
Favorite Dish: Nothing I can remember.
The Bay: don't miss the crab cakes and the dates
Despite Miami Beach being on the beach, there is very few places that offer water front dining or a bar and a lounge for that matter, facing biscayne bay.
Well found the perfect place, with beautiful outside sitting and a great happy hour. Had drinks, a round of apeitzers (Bacon wrapped dates and crab cake) and shared a delicious seafood black risotto with my girlfriend. All for $42.00. The Happy hour special is half off appetizers and on average $3.00 drinks. Can't beat it. In addition the inside becomes a Club at 10pm on a nightly basis, we hit th 80's, 90's night and it was pretty cool.
Our bartender, Carlos, was awsome made us feel at home as if we were back in San Francisco for a 3rd of the price.
Anyway, checkout THE BAY at 1601 79th street causeway, North Bay Village (Miami Beach). Right next to The Crabhouse.
Anyway the exp
Favorite Dish: The Crabcake was to die for. I am a big crabcake person, have had it at Houston's and various places in the West Coast and another place in Miami called Soyka, but this one was amazing. The Crab Meat was tender and the searing on the outside was delicate Panko over a bed of arugula and fried capers. Delicious.
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Ocean Pizza & juice: A good snack
In Miami Beach, along Ocean Drive, you can find many restaurants.
A quite good place where to have a snack after walking along Ocean Drive in the hot-humid Miami summer or after a break from sunbathe is Ocean Pizza & juice. Located close to the Starbucks, here you can eat very good Brooklyn Style pizza, sub sandwiches and wraps, buffalo wings, pasta, fresh salads, smoothies, and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
The service is good and fast.
Favorite Dish: In Ocean Pizza & juice you have a choice among 5 or 6 pizzas with different toppings. It was good and very cheap. You can eat in terrace or to take away.
- Food and Dining
Casablanca Restaurant: Great steak!
Another Ocean Drive-side restaurant which offers all the temptation to enter but not much in the way of great service. It does, however, offer a very enjoyable steak.
Favorite Dish: A very enjoyable steak which would have been improved by better service.
Ocean's Ten: Lacklustre Service
Located alongside Ocean Drive, this restaurant gives a great opportunity to quench your thirst from walking through the Art Deco district whilst still enjoying some people watching - so long as you're prepared for the prices.
This restaurant turns into a happening club after hours.
Favorite Dish: Whilst wait-staff encourage you into this restaurant during the daylight hours, that's probably the greatest degree of enthusiasm you'll see. I had a very pleasant Caesar salad but, unfortunately, it was rather tarnished by the lacklustre service.
Big Pink: Great food!!!
This is a classic American diner serving great options across a great range of foods. If you're looking for a burger, you will want to check this place out - the selection is endless!!!
Service is good without being rushed and staff are attentive.
Favorite Dish: I had the Chicken Teriyaki which is a double boneless breast of chicken, char grilled and brushed with a teriyaki glaze served with sautéed broccoli and steamed basmati rice which was delicious.
I followed this up with Banana Creme Pie which was scrummylicious!
La Ventana Colombian Restaurant - Washington Ave
We stopped at La Ventana after wandering around Miami Beach all day on New Years Eve. We finally decided we needed to stop just to get some beer, coffee, and water. There were only a few people in this little Colombian joint, all Spanish speakers, so I figure it must be good, or at least authentic. Unfortunately we were still full from our Mexican lunch, so we couldn't try their food. Instead Laura had a "Cafe Tinto," their house special coffee for $2.50, and I had a Colombian beer called Aguila for $3.75.
The cafe tinto is a type of Cuban espresso or Café Cubano. Aguila beer was started by the Bavaria Brewery in 1913 in Columbia and is now owned by SABMiller.
Oh Mexico... you silly country
While wandering around Miami Beach, we were drawn to Española Way, the quaint Spanish Village of South Beach. After strolling through here on our way to Lincoln Road, we decided to come back for lunch.
On our way through the area's several restaurants we decided on the oddly named, "Oh Mexico" as the place we should stop. This restaurant shares its location with the historic The Clay Hotel, where Al Capone was known to frequent back in the 1930s. We sat at one of the tightly packed outdoor tables and scanned the large menu. Laura started with a margarita and I had a Tecate beer while we snacked on the chips and salsa. For our meals, I had the grouper al ajillo ($12.50) and Laura had the pork chops (chuleta enchipotla) for $9. After our meals we realized the margaritas were a pricey $11 each.
The food was excellent... I have to say I was very impressed. But I was not so impressed with the expensive drinks or their insistence on requiring a 17% gratuity, even for small groups of diners.
Maiko Japanese Restaurant - Washington Ave
On New Years eve, we were worried about finding a place for dinner where we didn't need reservations and where we wouldn't have to pay a cover charge. Luckily the numerous restaurants on Washington Ave were fairly empty and had no cover. We decided to get sushi on this night, so Maiko was our destination.
We arrived around 8:30 and were quickly seated in the corner next to the fish tank--watching the fish provided a measure fo entertainment between courses of our meal. We started with a Tsing Tao beer ($5) and a coke ($2) then had their fried pork shumai appetizer with hot mustard ($7), which was very tasty. For our main course we decided on the huge shushi mori for two ($35). It came with a California roll and a bagel roll, plus 18 various pieces of sashimi and miso soup. Everything on the tray was fresh and tasty, without exception.
According to their website, Maiko is Zagat Survey rated "Excellent."
My only complaint is the Miami Beach tradition of adding the tip onto the bill for you. At Maiko, the bill reads, "for your convenience 15 gratuity will be included on the guest check. Please feel free to raise or lower at your discretion." I actually decided to leave a few bucks extra because of the very good service, but I usually don't tip extra once the restaurant has decided how much tip they want.
The Playwright Irish Pub
The Playwright, a great little Irish Pub in South Beach, was our first stop after checking into our hotel and parking the car. We sat at one of the two big bars and watched college football on a flat screen TV while enjoying a few pints of Irish beer. We decided to split three appetizers for a light dinner: the buffalo shrimp special, the shrimp and ginger rolls, and the chicken spring rolls for about $10 each. The food arrived quickly and was very tasty, though presented a little too fancy for my taste.
Playwrights has three locations: South Beach, Hamden, CT, and New Haven, CT. The South Beach location opened 2000, and the interior was imported from Ireland.
Char Hut - Best burgers in Davie, FL!
When heading from Miami to Tampa, and you need a bite to eat before you get stuck on Alligator Alley, Char Hut is a great option. Here you can get some of the area's best burgers with fries and a coke for under $9 each. We arrived around 6pm after a Dolphins game and enjoyed two burgers with cheese on poppy rolls. We enjoyed our burgers while watching football
Their menu also include chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, pulled pork, veggie burgers, tuna steak, skirt steak, and Italian sausage.
Eleventh Street Diner
Eleventh Street Diner is located right across the street from the hotel where we stayed, so after a night of drinking, we had to stop here for a snack on the way home. It was around midnight when we wandered in, and there just a few other customers. We sat at the counter and ordered a grilled cheese with chips ($6.50) and a Monte Cristo, which includes ham, swiss, and turkey on French toast ($12). Their late nite menu also features about 15 hamburgers, a variety of sandwiches, and some entrees.
For 48 years 11th Street Diner was actually located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 1992 it was dismantled and transported to Miami Beach, where it received an enthusiastic reception
Aura: Lincoln Road - So Many Restaurants...skip this one
Walking up and down Lincoln Road during the day to find the ideal setting and menu for dinner, I met Fawn, the very nice hostess outside AURA. She wrote her name on a card, offering a free bottle of wine with dinner that night. The menu looked nice, so we went that evening. It was only the lunch menu on display, and when I said, "Wow, $13.95 is really inexpensive for Ahi tuna. Are all the prices different for dinner?", she answered, "I think it's only another dollar or so".
The hostess now on duty said, "Your first cocktail is free. We have mojitos, sex on the beach, sangria..."
It all sounded good, so we were seated indoors (as it was very hot outside).
The waiter, with limited English but a big smile, brought over food and drink menus. I said, "I'm not sure I'm in the mood for a cocktail, but since the first round is on the house, we should certainly taste something." So, I ordered one of their martinis, with my friend getting a simple mixed drink.
We split a 3/4 lb (!!) crabcake, then settled on ahi tuna in a citrus sauce (me) and ravioli (my friend). The crabcake came out, and I found it more mushy batter inside, not a whole lot of crab flavor. So far, nice plating, not much on the palette.
We hadn't even finished the crab cake when our entrees were already on the table, which felt rushed. I still had a bite on my fork when they took my appetizer plate.
The ahi tuna ($6 more than lunch, not $1) was attractively plated, with nice, sesame encrusted tuna fanned over some white rice, with the plate garnished in dried parsley (nothing to add any actual flavor). There didn't seem to be much sauce, so I was very hopeful that it was going to add plenty of punch and acidity. The sauce was virtually flavorless, so I was essentially eating sashimi without soy.
My friend had the waiter help him choose between two entrees, and the ravioli he choose instead of a stir fry looked unspectacular, but my friend thought it was okay, if nothing zippy or creative.
I was still eating when the waiter came back to take my plate away, asking if I was done. As the restaurant was empty (although in fairness there were plenty of diners outside), I had no idea why they were rushing the plates off the table.
When the bill arrived, we'd been charged $22 for that first round of drinks. I called over the hostess, to remind her that we'd been offered the first round on the house. She said "that was only for mojitos, sangria or Sex On The Beach". I reiterated that she had said the first round was on the house, then said "we have..." as though that was a sample of what was available, not "your dinner comes with your choice of...", but she did not need to call over the manager for this, as this was clearly an intentional misunderstanding the restaurant engages in several times a night, and she said, "I'm sure I was very clear when I explained it, I always am" (which she hadn't been). She offered us a mojito now, but we'd finished eating, and didn't want another drink.
So, our 2 entrees and 1 app with a round of drinks we only ordered because they were free came to just over $90, once they included 15% gratuity.
I'd like to say the story ends there, after 2 bland dinners, and 2 friends slightly more street-wise and pocket-poor, but there's more. It was about 50 minutes later that massive cramping set in from the tuna, and the projectile vomiting started. Oooooooh.... bad fish. Nothing worse.
Favorite Dish: Nothing we tried would qualify as a favorite.
- Arts and Culture
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Katanas: Great Japanese food
I love this place because it's not really a meal but little appetizers.I like that because you don't end up feeling like you ate a cow.The restaurant is a small, dark place with the kitchen in the middle.The chefs make the food and put it on a small boat which travels in a little river around the kitchen.All you do is grab it from the river when you see something good.You know the price by the color of the plate.The color=price menu is on the wall so you don't get confused.The only times you have to talk to a waiter is when they ask you what drink you want and also when they ask fork or chop sticks.When you're done,the waiter adds up the prices of the plates.All of the tables are right around the river so you don't get up at all.About three small plates of sushi for each person in a four person group is about $40.Not bad in my opinion.Plus,those tucked away restaurant are typical Miami Beach where only us locals know about.The beach is near by so you can walk it off on the boardwalk.It's well lighten so you can even walk at night.The actual beach is too dark though.
Favorite Dish: The spicy chicken is delicious but the sushi is without a doubt the best.
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Prime Italian: Have to see the Kobe Meatball!!!!!
Definitely a bit upscale, this place is an Italian restaurant with plenty of steaks on the menu (as their steak house, Prime 112 is just across the street), they also have an amazing raw bar selection ~ oysters, lobsters, shrimps (that were at least 4 inches long!)
I had the spaghetti with the Kobe meatball ~ it was over $30, but the meatball was about the size of a 12 inch softball and delicious beyond words...
Some other items that our party had and were extremely happy with included a martini made with Italian Ice, Kobe sliders, and Fried Oreos for dessert
Favorite Dish: The spaghetti dish was amazing, I barely ate half of the pasta, and half of the meatball (I made EVERYONE else at the table try it!) and was so full...
but definitely leave some room for Fried Oreos ~ both items were out of this world