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Aug 18th
Miami Spice Makes a Welcome Return PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin, BT Contributors   
August 2019

 

Food news we know you can use

TPix_Dish_8-19ime flies. It seems like Miami Spice was just a little while ago. But it’s been a whole year, and diners across Miami are ready to try some of the city’s top restaurants at a fraction of the normal cost. More than 200 places are participating in the 2019 promotion -- both new faces and old favorites. Throughout August and September, diners can enjoy a multi-course $23 lunch or $39 dinner.

Since you only have two months to enjoy the savings, we’ve put together some suggestions to help you navigate the menus. Here are our three tips for this year’s promo:

First of all, don’t just focus on the new restaurants. As tempting as it is to make a reservation at La Placita (6789 Biscayne Blvd., 305-400-8173) -- celebrated chef José Mendin’s Puerto Rican restaurant -- or another new hotspot like downtown’s Novikov (300 S. Biscayne Blvd., 305-489-1000), just remember that a lot of other people will have the same idea. You’re going to face a lot of competition getting a reservation early on.

While you wait for the hype to die down, use this opportunity to visit old standbys. That restaurant you haven’t visited in a while has likely switched up its menu and is worth another look -- and odds are, it’ll be easy to score a table.

Second, treat yourself. Outside of occasional specials, this is likely the only time of year that you can eat at upscale restaurants without breaking the bank. La Mar by Gaston Acurio (500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358) and Cantina La 20 (495 Brickell Ave., 786-623-6135) -- two exquisite Latin American eateries in Brickell -- typically come with a hefty price tag, but their Miami Spice menus are an incredible value; you’ll get to try some of their signature dishes and save some money.

Lastly, remember that Miami Spice does not take place every day. If you walk into a place like Michael’s Genuine (130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550) on a Saturday night expecting to try the Spice menu, you’re going to be disappointed; the restaurant only offers Miami Spice for dinner Sunday through Thursday. Other restaurants, though, offer Miami Spice every day. The only way to know is by visiting the official site at miamiandbeaches.com. Don’t be caught by surprise -- just do your homework.

 

OPENINGS

If Miami Spice isn’t your thing, there are plenty of recent openings to keep you busy over the next few months. One of them is Smoothie Express (9440 NE 2nd Ave., 786-534-8696) in Miami Shores, a healthy fast-casual joint that’s more than just its namesake item. Hearty wraps, salads, and burgers make up a majority of the menu, and the high-quality offerings clock in at affordable prices. It’s perfect for a quick lunch, a post-workout snack, or a family outing -- there’s even a kids menu with creative smoothies and child-friendly bites.

At the other end of the spectrum is That’s Mine Craft Burgers and Beer (14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-705-2143), where healthy eating goes out the door. This North Miami Beach establishment prides itself on gigantic burgers like the Lambtastic, which comes with a lamb patty, brie cheese, apricot compote, cilantro bacon ranch, and much more. Slider versions are also available to keep the calorie counts manageable. Regardless, finish off with a Hazel Nuts “Mine Shake,” a rich Nutella and Ferrero Rocher concoction.

Further south, downtown Miami has welcomed a new lunch joint: Vinaigrette Sub Shop (159 E. Flagler St., 786-558-5989). From the operators of the seafood spot Mignonette, this soon-to-be neighborhood favorite serves up sizeable subs with a variety of meats and toppings. The specialty, however? The Italian offerings that come packed with genoa salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, mortadella, Calabrian salami, and…you name it, and they probably have it. Seating is limited, so expect to take your sub on the road.

Buena Vista Deli has moved to Midtown (3252 NE 1st Ave., #107, 305-576-3945). Details next issue.

 

CLOSINGS

Summer is always harsh for restaurants, and the season has already claimed a few notable casualties. Much to the dismay of locals, Laurenzo’s Italian Market has closed down after 69 years in business. The family-owned institution was known for its extensive wine selections, top-notch pasta, and friendly service. Not too far away, North Miami’s Bagels & Company quietly shut down after serving the neighborhood for roughly three decades.

 

Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin-Anderson are co-founders of Miami Food Pug, an award-winning South Florida food blog that fuses the couple’s love of dogs and food.

 

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