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NY chowhound in South Beach report 4/2012

i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream | Apr 22, 2012 04:38 PM

Since I rely heavily on these boards when planning a trip, I like to reciprocate with a trip report. We stayed in South Beach for the second April in a row and had some fantastic food and drink, some repeat favorites from last year and some new.

Joe's takeaway- though this is a pretty pricey casual dinner, the food is excellent and it was a great laidback start to our vacation. We got the stone crabs (of course), a huge grilled grouper sandwich, salad, and key lime pie, and devoured everything. Walked it off with a trip to Publix where we stocked up on breakfast and lunch food for the week.

Burger and Beer Joint- just hit this place up for some drinks before our Easter dinner at Sardinia. They have a fantastic beer menu and were blasting Nirvana when we entered, so my husband was hooked.

Sardinia- we went last year for Easter and liked it so much we decided to return. This time we sat outside which we liked better than the more formal interior space. We shared a bottle of wine (they have quite a few affordable bottles) with three delicious courses... starting with creamy burrata (served with two accompaniments- we chose prosciutto and roasted peppers) and a beautiful salad of greens, cauliflower, pear, and gorgonzola dolce... followed by two half orders of pasta, the Sardinian seafood "paella" and orrechiette with boar sausage (I think?)... and finished up with the rabbit, which was stupendous. No room for dessert. This place is great.

Hofbrau- first stop on our "beer crawl" one night. We love this place. Great people watching and my husband loves the German beer. Had a couple of beers and shared an enormous pretzel with a German brie/onion/paprika type dip which is the perfect beer snack.

Abbey- unfortunately they were out of a couple of the beers we had wanted to try but never fear, there were plenty of other beers to try including a fruity lambic that I loved.

Yardbird- we sat at the bar for a drink before our reservation. Nicest bartender ever! Tiring of all the beer, I had an Abita root beer on tap, but they have a very respectable beer list too, in which my husband partook, and we paired our drinks with their fried chicken on a biscuit which is a PERFECT bite for two-- two flaky buttery biscuits with tender, crisp fried chicken on top. I felt ill once we were seated so we ended up taking our meal home to the hotel, where we ate it in bed... and it was wonderful. A nice fresh salad with ripe tomatoes (haven't had one of those up here in NY for months... I missed them!) and the cochon, which was so flavorful and tender, served with some sort of corn pudding. I was so sad we didnt' get to have dessert here. This place is quite a scene and lots of fun.

La Sandwicherie- most awesome lunch you can have on the beach. I have been picturing this sandwich for a long time and it was as amazing as I remember-- mozzarella on a fresh croissant with all the fixings- lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, cornichons, onion, and their amazing dressing.

A la Folie- At the far end of bustling Espanola is this little French place, which really did remind us of being in France last summer, and we had a really leisurely light (relatively speaking!) dinner here of crepes. Mine was several kinds of cheese and my husband's was tuna with harissa. We shared a dark chocolate crepe with chantilly for dessert. House wine was a steal at $6 a glass and very drinkable, no interesting beers though.

Zeke's- not my favorite spot but the outdoor seating and people watching on Lincoln is fun. The bartenders were not so friendly and while they may offer a billion kinds of beer on the list that's no guarantee they have them all.

Provence Grill- another repeat from last year since we liked this place so much last year. We shared the frisee aux lardons, which is the perfect combination of crunchy, salty, and creamy. For dinner I had moules frites and my husband had duck confit, which was a generous portion and cooked very nicely.

Shake Shack- we have this in NY but couldn't resist, and shared a huge concrete. Yum!

Crazee Olive- we stopped here right before getting on the bus back to the airport and it was great. The portions were huge, the food was fresh and tasty, and pretty cheap. Falafel was excellent as was the lamb kebab with harissa sauce.

All in all a great trip to South Beach... we were so entranced by the beach during the day that we couldn't bring ourselves to leave South Beach (except for a day trip to Islamorada)... maybe next time we will make it to Miami proper. Thanks to Miami CHs for helping to inform our eating decisions!

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