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miami/SB/bal harbour this weekend: *please* weigh in your chow opinion! (long)

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miami/SB/bal harbour this weekend: *please* weigh in your chow opinion! (long)

marlo | Oct 29, 2003 02:35 PM

Hello, LA chowhounder here.

Well my party group put me in charge of food, even though I’ve never been to Florida before and most of them have. Go figure. I’m originally from Hawaii, and this board reminded me of the similarities btwn the two states--people using us at their warm pool/playground and looking for good food. So here I am looking for the beach and some grub!

I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the places I’ve found in past posts on this board. We’re primarily interested in getting the best of what Miami has to offer--and/or things that would be hard to find done well elsewhere. Definitely Cuban (+ sandwiches), hopefully seafood, a good deli, and I don’t know what else. Three or four dinners and a few lunches thrown in.

We’ll be staying at 96th and Collins near (in?) Bal Harbour this weekend (31 Oct till 3 Nov) and will have cars to tool around in. 8 of us total from Los Angeles, San Francisco area, and Boston. However with that many people, I’m sure we’ll be a bit sluggish about traveling too far. [For ex, that fruit and spice park someone posted about sounded great but is probably too far away to get anyone to go w/ me.]

So far we’re planning to eat at Las Culebrinas for our splurgish dinner. And maybe a Jewish deli (not sure where, and recs?) for dinner on Saturday. We're meeting at the Surfside Cafe on Friday after flying in from various airports.

I gathered around 13 pages of old posts and whittled it down to 3 pages. It was a little spotty doing research, because I’m not familiar with the area at all and had to mapquest the locations. Some places seemed too far then so I didn’t note them but don’t seem far at all now. Darn.

Any comments, opinions, or recs would be appreciated. Esp how much the avg entrée costs at the place--I'm guessing we're eating cheap on the most part. Also, if you have a quick dinner suggestion for Ft Lauderdale before we drop the rental car off on Monday, that would be great! It turns out two of us may have time to eat around there.

Here’s the gist of what I found. I’m not planning to go to all these places but thought it’d be useful to list them + some non-comprehensive links for the next hounder looking around on the boards (and to get all your input):

CUBAN FOOD:

Like I said, we’re eating at Las Culebrinas for our “splurge” dinner (unless some of you say otherwise!). And I’d like to get a sandwich at Latin American Cafeteria. Or try out Pollo Tropical. We may end up at Versailles instead though, since it seems institutional? It seems like coffee/pastries would be good anywhere we went?

--Versailles

--A cafecito and a pastele at any store window on Calle Ocho...sugar and caffeine ( almost as good as fat).

--Pollo Tropical (fast food Cuban) (best locations are 163rd st in N. Miami Beach, and Alton Rd in South Beach as they make it a little spicier)
1454 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: (305) 672-8888

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[CUBAN] SANDWICHES:

--Latin American Cafeteria
http://icuban.com/3guys/cubansandwich...

--Sergios (pork sandwiches; pan con bistec)

--Villa Habana on Coral Way

--La Carreta (tongue) [mult locations?]

--A cafecito and a pastele at any store window on Calle Ocho

--Rascal House [deli?]
17190 COLLINS AVE.
MIAMI BEACH, FL 33160
TEL: 305-947-4581


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BAL HARBOUR AREA:

People seem to really like Oggie Café and/or Da Vinci. So I may suggest those places for somewhere close to where we’re staying. Though I just did a yellow pages seach for Oggie Café and there was no listing...

--Da Vinci on 96th (Bay Harbor on Kane Concourse)

--Oggie Cafe 79th Street Causeway (sister restaurant is Cafe da Vinci)

--Joseph's on 163rd St Sunny Isles, about 1/2 block west of Collins (Latin & Asian)

--Also right on Kane Concourse is a wonderful little French cafe for breakfast or lunch. I don't know the name, but it's on the north side of the street. You can't miss it.

--Front Porch on Ocean between 14 & 15 (breakfast)

--Carpaccio or Elia (Mediterranean menu and a Greek owner)at the Bal Harbour Shops.

--Pizza Rustica + La Sandwicherie (inexpensive takeout)

--Renaisa, a great (South) Indian restaurant on Biscayne and 78th. Cheap and authentic.

--Sushi Republic in Surfside. (tiny, and gets very crowded)

--Panna at 73nd and Collins (skirt steak; pastries)

--Fish Joint on Miami Gardens Drive, just past Dixie Highway, on the left side of the street. Portions are huge, so bear in mind, when ordering.

--Captain Jim's at 127th and W. Dixie Highway for the freshest seafood but note the place is quite casual. Ask for Joey to be your server.

--Cafe Creole at 128th and W. Dixie Highway for Haitain seafood and very friendly service.

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SEAFOOD:

I was at a loss for finding seafood places. Either it seemed very expensive, very far away to clueless me, or people didn’t find it very good. Then I started thinking about Fisherman’s Wharf in SF and other touristy seafood areas + restaurants. And now I’m just wary--maybe we won’t go to a seafood-specific place on this trip.

Rickey's - Lobster is good: 18.95 for a two lobster dinner on fri-sun. $5.00 for sharing but not charged because we bought more items. We were there at 5:00 on Sunday and they ran out at 6:00. They can run out on Sunday! Wear a sweater because they keep the place at 65 degrees - I guess to remind the yankee tourists what it is like back home. Also very good wings and other specials during the week.

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NORTH MIAMI BEACH:

Argentango Grill (1822 Young Circle/954-920-9233). (skirt steak; sides at bargain prices; white sangria)

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