i'm new to this message board stuff so bear with (new "threads" and such might as well be greek to me). speaking of greek--great value and great gyro at mykonos in the roads where coral way turns toward downtown.
a couple of doors down from that is "zuperpollo"--a uruguayan rotisserre' chicken that always seems to have soccer on--get a half chicken and a couple of quilmes and you're in heaven.
also, with the departure of mozart stube the only good german food left in town is edelweiss, just north of downtown on biscayne. schnitzel is the baseline for evaluation for any german place and theirs is lightly breaded and crispy--and delicious.
but before i go further, wanted to respond to some of your postings--agree that siam lotus is very good, but have you had sea siam, way down south in the shopping center next to suniland park? their spicy lemongrass beef is great--but again in terms of authenticity all suffer by comparison to hy vong.
the chart house got rid of their salad bar?! that's terrible--i haven't been there for years--i have always enjoyed my meals at the chart house but when i have a little extra dinero these days i'm usually headed to wish or ortanique or normans or liason (a GREAT french-new orleans cuisine place on the beach that is actually VERY reasonable). you can count on something good and fresh and different there and i have yet to have surly service and any of those.
never been to joia--but i've heard many good things. by the way, avoid grappa at all costs--it's expensive, the staff is rude, and the foods not that good (or when I was there hot) either.
a surprisingly good italian place is down in pinecrest--grazie cafe. the owners are awesome, very friendly (they love my folks--always sending them desserts and such or some off the menu appetizer). and it is very affordable as well.
melting pot is great--i went there for my junior prom--and i can safely say i have thoroughly enjoyed every meal i've had there. trying to avoid excessive fried stuff when i can these days though.
vesailles is very good, but the last couple of times i went the ropa vieja was off--real tough and gristly--and that's my favorite. the bakery's always good though.
i agree with sunday's over rusty pelican, but the best inexpensive seafood BESIDES cami's (their portions, freshness, and prices ARE UNBEATABLE in my book--and the staff is totally friendly and helpful) is garcia's on the miami river. fried conch and a cold presidente while watching the river traffic=heaven.
this is long enough--i'll add some more later on. hope this is helpful.