|BizBuzz: August 2012|
|Written by Pamela Robin Brandt - BT Contributor|
Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible
This month the main event for most has been the Summer Olympics in London. But given Miami heat, just watching athletes exert themselves so strenuously starts us sweating up a storm. Fortunately, many BT advertisers have alternative ideas for more seasonally appropriate athletic activities, plus other ways to improve ourselves, renew our lives, and just plain have fun.
First, for those truly serious about athletic activities, Orange Theory Fitness (18839A Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-0544), whose calorie-burning training session has been heralded by the New York Times as the best one-hour workout in the nation, has just started a free running club in conjunction with athletic apparel store lululemon. The runs, which take place every Wednesday, include a pre-run stretch plus a post-run ab blast led by an Orange Theory coach. Call for further details. Oh, and more good fitness news: Orange Theory has just added Ironman triathlete Fausto Rodriguez to the staff.
Personally, our favorite athletic event is competitive eating -- not yet an Olympic sport, true, but wait for it. How can you not admire 105-pound Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, who last month broke the women’s world record at the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating contest, downing 45 dogs and rolls in ten minutes? Meanwhile, we had a much more elegant opportunity to stuff ourselves silly, at new advertiser Bourbon Steak (19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-6600), a celeb chef Michael Mina restaurant at Turnberry Isle Resort, where we ate every choice on the luxury eatery’s 2012 Miami Spice dinner menu. That’s nine dishes, but really ten since Bourbon Steak turns Spice’s standard three-course menu into four courses by starting diners of with three cones of the eatery’s famous fries, each with its own different dipping sauce. As Spice program veterans know, not all Spice menus are equal; some offer dishes lesser in quality of ingredients, portion quantity, or creativity. Not here, where dishes include corn ravioli with brown butter and chanterelles; Wagyu ribeye with roasted eggplant; and a wild blueberry shortcake with ginger shortbread and local corn ice cream.
After sampling, at July’s Taste of the Nation Miami fundraiser, the fare of John Sexton, Turnberry Isle’s new overall executive chef, we’d recommend instead that you try a workout at the resort’s Cascata Grill (786-279-6800). There, Miami Spice menus, served at lunch as well as dinner, include dishes like a crispy cornflake-crusted grouper sandwich; coffee/chili-rubbed beef shortribs with impossibly creamy goat cheese polenta; and roast duck with forest mushrooms, Madeira mascarpone, and fresh herbs from the chef’s onsite garden. Incidentally, this year’s Taste of the Nation, hosted by Turnberry Isle (305-933-6930), raised a record $95,000 for the childhood hunger organization Share Our Strength.
Another feast we just tried at an advertising restaurant: Wednesday’s $35 all-you-can-eat lobster dinner at Kitchen 305 (16701 Collins Ave., 305-749-2110). While the feast is not just a summer thing, the seasonal extra-sweet softshell lobsters served through September are. Do reserve for early in the night, though, to make sure that the restolounge doesn’t run out of the perfectly cooked crustaceans.
August is also a great month to eat near-endless bagels at a budget-wise price, thanks to one of the coupon deals in this issue’s ad from Bagels and Company (11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435). Buy a dozen of David Cohen’s hand-rolled beauties and get a dozen free. There are also three offers for eat-in diners: $2 off tabs of $10 or more; $5 off checks over $20; and a buy-one-entrée-get-one-free deal. All offers are good weekdays only -- and with the ad’s coupons only.
If you’re up for lighter bites, Buddha Sushi Bar, a “sushi river” concept from Brazilian-raised owner Jackson Staack, who also owns Hippo Bites (1079 NE 79th St. 305-677-3633) right next door, is scheduled for a late August opening. Don’t plan on having any water fights, though. Chef Michael Asalie’s creations, including some sushi choices replacing rice with higher-fiber options, won’t really roll past diners on a river, just on a conveyor belt. And coming soon to already-open Hippo Bites (whose menu now features sandwiches, pastries, smoothies, and fresh juices) is a new treat: bubble tea, very trendy in Taiwan but hard to find here. What makes this refreshing drink so amusing, despite being alcohol-free, is hard to explain. You just have to try it.
Sushi fans are really scoring big this month. Welcome to new advertiser Sakura Hibachi Grill & Bar (1335 NE 79th St. Cswy., 305-751-1688 or 305-751-9288). The restaurant is celebrating its grand opening with a gift to readers: three dine-in deals. Diners get $6 off a lunch for two adults, $10 off dinner for two adults, or 20% off the entire check any day, any time. The discounts are available with the coupons only.
Summer sure doesn’t seem like summer without BBQ, but who wants to spend hours cooking ’cue in Miami’s hottest month? Instead, get yourself and friends over to the Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus (1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002), where chef/owner Alex Richter is now serving up his famous dark beer-marinated ribs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. To accompany, there’s lots more beer -- super-tasty dark or light German imports, of course.
Attention, ex-New Yorkers: Ever feel like grabbing a classic crisp-crusted street slice, slathered with that unmistakable bold but slightly sweet sauce and real mozzarella? Only, like, every day, right? But in these designer-pizza days of dainty pies only sold whole, where do you go? Welcome new advertiser King’s County Pizza (18228 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-792-9455), where the pizza is “New York tested, New York approved.” Naturally, you can get variously topped whole pies, too, in three crust styles: Brooklyn’s traditional round Neopolitan; chewy, thick-crusted Sicilian; and the also square but thin and crisp-crusted “Grandma”-- a new one on us, but habit-forming.
During the dog days, you won’t want to forget that your dog deserves good eats, too. Welcome new advertiser Natural K9 (6400 S. Dixie Hwy., 305-514-0577), which sells top-end brands of all natural, organic, and even holistic pet foods, at bottom-end prices. Fido won’t be begging at your table anymore when he’s gobbling gourmet flavors like duck and Bartlett pear, pheasant and brown rice, grain-free venison, beef frittata, or trendy buffalo. K9 also carries nonfood pet supplies ranging from collars and carriers to dog jewelry and costumes. (Halloween is coming, after all.)
Shopping is another of our favorite summer sports, so we thank Dave Widdas of 360 Furniture Consignments (18340 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-627-3148) for extending its “summer super sale” through August, despite our fear that the sale is so super it might involve too much exertion. The discount is 20% to 50% off everything in the whole store. Whew. Meanwhile 360, which just celebrated its second anniversary, wants to thank the Miami charitable organizations that added to the store’s success, and to remind churches, rescue missions, and other charities accepting donations of furniture, household goods, jewelry, or artwork that 360 can assist in turning such donations into cash.
Possibly the ultimate in shopping experiences is buying an ultimate dream home, and new advertiser Gary Hennes Realtors (1633 Jefferson Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-1558) can help with that. The boutique realty firm, one of the most successful for more than 20 years, is especially known for its upscale listings (luxury homes and condos with prices as high as $35 million), but there are also many adorable affordable offerings that just look luxe. Visit www.garyhennesrealtors.com for home pix, plus a photo of a tadpole-size Gary on the beach in 1967, which illustrates the broker’s philosophy that the best real estate representation is local and personality-driven.
If your space is too small for your stuff, but a bigger place is out of the question, visit More Space Place (18153 Biscayne Blvd., 305-792-5060). This new advertiser is America’s #1 Murphy bed retailer, and also carries a wide selection of other retractable beds. Other space-stretching solutions include custom closets, garage/workshop organizers, media centers, and space-saving home office furniture.
One exertion no one needs at any time of year is dealing with property-management hassles. Let new advertiser Pristine Property Management do it for you. From enforcing rules and regulations to cost-effective maintenance, accounting, handling city/county code compliance, and keeping clients informed regarding all the above, hassle-free, full-service management of your condo or other dwelling is a promise. Contact Eddie Miller or Alekxey Sabido (español) at 305-807-3321.
With the start of the 2012-2013 school year looming, the Aveda Seven Seas Spa and Salon at Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort (16701 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach) offers five “teacher appreciation” promotions, each for the discounted rate of $20.12. Until September 3, educators can choose from four spa treatments (a massage, a facial, an all-natural glycolic peel, an exfoliating body scrub) or a full pedicure plus mani polish change. For appointments: 305-749-2100.
This school year new advertiser Monsignor Edward Pace High (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-7223) provides students at all academic levels an increasingly dynamic and futuristic learning experience via its new one-on-one iPad Initiative. Though some schools already use tablets as supplemental tools, explains dean of academics Rebecca Bautista, “Pace is taking it one step further as the first school to create a completely digital learning environment, eliminating the need for textbooks. The iPad, paired with our teachers’ innovative instructional activities,” Bautista says, “will challenge students to set new academic goals.”
Many summer camps close by mid-August, so if you’re seeking kid-friendly fun for the ’tween time till school opens, bring the whole family to this month’s Midtown Moonlit Movies, presented by the Shops at Midtown Miami. August’s flicks: Dr. Seuss’s the Lorax, on August 8, and The Hunger Games on August 22. The screenings start at 8:30. Bring beach chairs or blanket early to get a spot on the central courtyard’s grass.
And on August 18, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., LoudGirl Exchange (6621 Biscayne Blvd., 305-458-5783) will present an event that’s both exciting and educational: a reading by author Janet Hager from her children’s book Truly Julie. Hager will hang out for questions and a signing, too.
Wilma Baggesen from First United Methodist Church (400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-371-4706) suggests that back-to-school time could also be back-to-church time -- a good time for the whole family to start again. Featured on August 19, at 11:00 a.m., will be a service for adults, a “children’s church,” and a nursery for younger baby-toddlers.
City of Miami residents who enjoy expressing their spiritual sides by helping out Mother Nature can now drive greener thanks to a new cars-haring program from the Miami Parking Authority in partnership with car2go North America: a network of 240 low-emission, two-passenger “smart cars” that can be rented and then left in any legal parking space throughout the city. After a mere windshield reader swipe of a driver’s membership card, terminating the rental, vehicles become instantly available to new drivers, who can locate the nearest smart car through their smart phones. For more info and membership: Miami.car2go.com.
With an increasing number of gas-saving motor scooters in BT territory, we’re happy to welcome Adrenaline Motorbikes (2563 N. Miami Ave., 786-356-0019), where certified/licensed mechanic Hernan Nuñez services and repairs all makes of scoots and cycles. The friendly shop offers free pick-up and delivery, too, so no need to feel you’re at the mercy of often unlicensed and uninsured “mobile” mechanics’ hustles.
Remember the upcoming election on August 14? It’s hard to forget if you notice the many campaign ads in this issue. While it’s not appropriate for this column to tell you how to vote, we can tell you which candidates are advertising for the first time in this issue: Michelle Alvarez Barakat, Audrey Edmonson, Pedro J. Garcia, Ana Maria Pando, and Pat Santangelo.
Additional new political advertisers include three groups we’ll refer to broadly as political action committees: Norman Braman’s Change for Miami-Dade Now!, whose ad features Alison Austin; Citizens for Lower Property Taxes, whose ad spotlights Carlos Lopez-Cantera; and MOCA Yes!, which advocates for a bond issue to expand North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art. (By the way, just what are political action committees? They’re darned difficult to define, since legal challenges and changes keep redefining their boundaries. Let’s just say that for every campaign-finance law there are a zillion or so ways to interpret that law.)
Also note the separate ad from MOCA, which isn’t a political action committee and so can’t explicitly tell you to vote in favor of the museum’s ambitious plans for expansion. But who could say no to more of a good thing?
Again, we’re not here to tell you how to vote, but we do urge you: Vote. August primaries traditionally have very low turnouts, and we get why you wouldn’t want to budge from your A/C unit. But important stuff is at stake.
Volume 14, Issue 2, April 2016
Downtown Miami’s Cultural Center keeps its eye on the arts