I followed with some interest the post on "real florida food" and figured I'd put in my two cents as a native miamian who now lives in san francisco.
Pizza will always be a bone of contention (slice of contention?). The SF boards are full of posts from people trying to find pizza like they had when they were growing up.
My favorite pizza in the world is Frankie's on Bird Road. The crust is fantastic, the cheese to sauce ratio is perfect, and the pepperoni is amazing (i love how it curls up into a bowl shape). Miami's Best is my second choice, but they sometimes put on too much cheese.
I think the NY slice is good as a snack ("grab a slice"), but it aint a meal and the only character the crust can have is crunchy-ness, since it's so thin. I think that croquetas and cafe cubano are the miami version of a coke and a slice - a perfect snack.
I really miss cuban food. Luckily I can cook it myself, but there isn't any subsitiute for a late night meal at versailles. I'd also highly recommend La Palma (8th street around 67th ave) for fritas (highly seasoned cuban hamburgers with crunchy potato bits on top) and fresh fried churros. I always bring home a box of pasteles and croquetas for my miami friends out here.
Malaga and Casa Juancho serve really good spanish food, and are better than anything i've had on the west coast.
Don't forget all of the carribbean and central american goodies that you can't get in the rest of the US.
In my not so humble opinion (IMNSHO), one of the best chow items in South Florida are the subs. You can't get em as good anywhere else. We've got great bread out here in SF, and they can make a mean italian sandwich, but it isn't a sub. Nor is the hero in NYC (although Manganaro's is excellent). Try La Spada on University in FLL, Tropical Subs in Kendall, or the place off of 96th St and US1 in Pinecrest.
I'm not even gonna go into seafood, because most coastal cities have their own superlative seafood. Just know that S Florida ranks up or above any of them.
Enjoy what you have! It's hard to know how wonderful and unique it is until you move away.
p.s. enough griping about Florida bagels, SF bagels suck way worse:-)
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