Now that you know all about our trip to Florida, it is time to talk to you about one of the best things about the trip.
I bet you can't guess what that might be...
Or maybe you can, because you already know me, that and the title of the this post, but whatever you already know that I have to talk to you about the food that we ate because it was so amazing and you need to relive this with me right now.
I'm going to cut right to the chase and tell you that within an hour of being in Miami, our friend Sean took us right to South Beach and we hit up a Cuban restaurant called Havana 1957 for lunch. Basically, it was mouth watering delicious. I ordered a traditional beef dish (it was basically fall apart flank steak) with the best black rice and beans I think I've ever had, while Canean ordered a traditional chicken Cuban sandwich on out of this world Cuban bread, and Sean ordered a pork dish with yucca. All insanely tasty and to top it off we washed it down a refreshing sangria. I'd say we were off to a pretty good start.
And then the sangria served in the cutest squatty mason jar...I love sangria, especially one that is fresh and not too sweet! This one fit the bill.
Just so you don't feel left out, I am going to be doing some serious recipe testing with beef to try and get these same flavors so I can share the recipe with you!
So lunch happened, and then Sean had to work until after dinner. So after lounging by the pool, Canean and I decided to make it a date night and head to a cozy little Italian restaurant called Café Prima Pasta right near Sean's house in North Beach. I know what you are thinking too, how could we possibly eat Italian after a lunch like we had? But when in Rome right? Or when in Miami? Either way, we were going to experience every food ethnicity this city had to offer us!
We feasted on bread with creamy garlic butter, salads, me a Caesar, and Canean a radicchio mix with a mustard vinaigrette followed by my favorite, spaghetti and meatballs (they made me a half portion because I was already full after my salad but refused not to order pasta, that's how I roll) and Canean ordered creamy lobster ravioli. It was super yummy and we sat at a little bistro table lit mostly by candle light around us. Yeah, that'll do.
And oops...we kinda ate our pasta before I remembered to take a picture...but we made the clean plate club. Which let's be honest, I'm usually a member there.
With smiles on our faces and full bellies, we headed to meet back up with Sean very satisfied with ourselves and the food Miami was offering.
The next day after Crossfit, which clearly we needed to partake in after a day full of food, we met up with my friend Katie and her fiancé to eat lunch at an Argentinian restaurant called Mi Tierra. Here we had killer margaritas, you know the ones with just lime juice, ice, and tequila....yeeaah. Katie and I had a grilled chicken dish and the boys ordered a traditional platter with beef, the biggest pork cracklin' I've ever seen, a fried egg, and everyone got rice and beans. Again the beans and rice were more than rice and beans...need to recipe test that too.
It was another great meal...Miami was not disappointing in the food department. The only bummer here is that I forgot to get a group shot of the four of us...what an idiot. (palm to head)
After saying our goodbyes, we headed to the pool to relax and drink a cocktail before heading to dinner to eat sushi at the coolest place called Katana Japanese Restaurant where the sushi floats by you on a wooden boat...I know, cool right? You just grab what you want and pay by the plates that you grabbed. We loved it! People pack in this tiny space to wait and eat here, it's that good. It was really some of the freshest sushi I've ever had.
And then after...this was the damage.
The next morning we decided to go kayaking and then head to the beach for most of the afternoon. Before heading to the beach we stopped in at a somewhat famous hot dog joint that Anthony Bourdain visited called La Perrada de Edgar. Here you have a about a million ga zillion choices to choose from. It was a bit overwhelming, but eventually I settled for a traditional Chicago style dog, Canean ordered the Thai dog, and Sean ordered the Japanese dog. They were huge and messy and delicious, but maybe not be best choice to eat before getting in your bathing suit. Food baby central, if you know what I mean. Oh well. After the beach, we decided there was really only one thing we needed to do. And that was to find a refreshing cocktail.
We ended up at El Rancho Grande Restaurant to sit on the patio, get chips and salsa and some margaritas. I ordered a traditional one, but Canean ordered a mango marg, which was so delicious that I had to order one too. Seriously, I don't usually do flavor margaritas, but this one was made with all fresh mangos and was not overly sweet.
Note: I will be recreating this because it is not just any mango margarita..it was perfection.
That night we had plans to cook at home making a couple of dishes that Sean specializes in. They are called Korean Bulgogi and Japanese Yakiniku. This is right up my alley for more than one reason. The flavors are amazing and it's done over a little gas burner that everyone sits around and cooks themselves. It takes about 2 hours by the time it's all said and done and you cook a little, drink a little, and chat a little. It's meats, veggies, and rice and it actually pretty healthy. It was a great night.
That above is the Korean Bulgogi. It is pieces of short ribs, grilled and topped with a chili bean paste and wrapped in a piece of lettuce. Deeeelish!
That is Yakiniku being cooked. Basically whatever veggies you like and thin cut beef dipped in Japanese barbeque sauce (which is nothing like our bbq sauce) and it's amazing and then you get a little rice with it and eat up!
I know you are probably really hungry by now or really over reading this post, but I just have one more day to share with you and really it's just breakfast and dinner! And it happens to be the best.
It's our last day, and my birthday and for breakfast we had Bibimbap which is made with the leftovers from the Yakiniku on top of rice with a fried egg and it was delish! I could eat that kind of breakfast everyday. We ate a light lunch due to the fact we knew we had dinner reservations at a great restaurant that night. We went to Mandolin Aegean Bistro which is a Greek and Turkish restaurant recommended to us by a friend of mine, and it did not let me down! The atmosphere was a charming outside terrace with lights and greenery, making you feel like maybe you ended up in Greece (well I've actually never been there, but it's how I imagine it to be). The food was spectacular, definitely the highlight of the trip.
And then the grand finale...
We started off with lamb and beef meatballs with homemade tzatziki sauce made with house made garlic infused Greek yogurt...insanely good. We ordered two salads, one a traditional Greek with homemade Feta, and another one with arugula and a pomegranate vinaigrette. And then for dinner I ordered the clams with a side of fries (because you have to dip fries in the sauce of course) and Canean ordered the lamb chops over an orzo salad, and Sean ordered the pulled lamb sandwich. For dessert...man oh man, we had pistachio baklava drizzled with local honey. There is so much potential for me wanting to recreate here, I can't wait to start recipe testing.
Whew...I'm hungry after all of that, and missing Miami. This dinner was the most perfect birthday dinner I could ask for. The trip was overall just the best. I would highly recommend visiting Miami and all of these restaurants that I just told you about.
Thanks for letting me share my life with you and just wait, because I will be testing recipes and letting you know when I do!
Until then happy eating friends and fellow foodies! I knew I liked you for a reason...