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Trip Report: Pubbelly Steak, Cypress Room, Khong, Joe's, Abuela's, La Sandwicherie, Chicken Kitchen

JonasBrand | Jan 4, 2014 10:10 AM

We were in town (Miami) for a couple weeks and checked out a few newish spots (as well as some classics):

Pubbelly Steak - Rang up quite a tab drinks and apps that were collectively tasty (but with a couple misses): steak tartare slider (juiced up with truffle oil, tasty but didn't really get a sense for the quality of the meat), burgers (too dry), fish tacos (table favorite), bone marrow (ordered a second mmm), lobster roll (weak)... interested to try the other spots in their PB group.

The Cypress Room - Nice space and flatware. Red Shrimp were tender and the dish would have been excellent if it wasn't over salted. Beets had a deep smoky flavour, tasty enough but perhaps the cheese could have been a bit punchier? The mains were a decided step down from the apps, the duck was overcooked and oddly cut into tough square chunks, the fish in a bouillabaisse of sorts was also overcooked. I prefered several prior meals at Michael's Genuine to TCR.

Khong - Some bright spots, we focused on the apps, I'd say the pork meatballs were the best thing we ordered. Good by Miami standards, but with western substitutions (e.g. long beans swapped out for green beans in the papaya salad), I imagine this is due to difficulty sourcing ingredients in a city with limited south asian cuisine? Wings were actually drumsticks (higher margin?) and as odd as it sounds I'd say too meaty (and as a result perhaps a bit undercooked)! The housemade sausage had a deep lemongrass aroma, but yet again over salted.

Abuela's - Cafe con leche at least as good (if not better) than it was at David's II. Glad I can still get my fix on Lincoln road which increasingly feels like any other mall!

La Sandwicherie - A local's institution, prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich (doused in that deliciously punchy dijon vinaigrette) with a berry smoothie, brings me back to my youth and as good as ever. Also the only place that stays open during hurricanes (as far as I know), something for which we'll be forever grateful.

Chicken Kitchen - Glad they continue to open up new locations, it's not fine dining, but really hits the spot. Less healthy option but more delicious (though sometimes makes it too salty) when you get a chop chop with the skin on!

Joe's - Pretty old crowd, many perhaps as old as the restaurant itself (which I think just celebrated 100 years in business). Much the same as it has always been, fried shrimp, grilled tomatoes, and a slice of key lime pie. Always find it bizarre that they serve stone crab claws cold... which are much tastier steamed fresh and piping hot.

That's about it. We were surprised how often dishes were over salted. I'd also say compared with New York, San Francisco, or even Toronto (were I currently live), Miami has a weakest set of foodie option for a major city (based on this small sample). Perhap it is due to being a tourism driven city?

Thanks to everyone on this board for keeping me current on Miami chow and special hat tips to @thechowfather (www.thechowfather.com) and @frodnesor (www.foodforthoughtmiami.com).

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink,
Chicken Kitchen Brickell,
Chicken kitchen jackson,
La Sandwicherie
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