Last month I made a spontaneous trip to Miami for my friend’s 25th birthday. I have never been to Miami (I definitely keep getting judged for that… my bad y’all), so I was excited to see what it was all about. Plus, I managed to escape a winter storm in January. Woohoo! Aside from the fact that a cuban sandwich is a must, I pretty much went with the flow when I arrived; had nothing planned, just went with the flow of what people suggested. Wasn’t there for long, but I tried to eat at as many places as possible while I was awake (because partying until 5am is such a norm, and I don’t know how to keep up honestly). Just felt like noting that after I came home every night, I had a box of Pizza Rolls waiting for me. Makes me realize I take the NYC late night pizza joints for granted.
SUGARCANE Raw Bar & Grill
The first place we went to get our grub on (post flying, “swimming” in the pool because I can’t swim… go ahead keep judging me) was a place called SUGARCANE Raw Bar & Grill. I found this place via Google-ing ‘dinner near me.’ We were staying at an apartment in downtown Miami. We made it just in time for happy hour which was great. I’m all about deals on food and drinks! The bartender actually offered us free St. Germain-based cocktails, since a rep was there that day (talk about perfect timing). It was absolutely delicious and I have no idea what was in it unfortunately besides grapefruit juice.
I wanted to try the wagyu slider (pictured on the right), because wagyu on any happy hour menu will get me excited. Plus, fried quail egg on top? Yes please! I got a little too excited unfortunately. The sauce that was on the burger didn’t mesh well to me with everything. It overpowered the meat and everything in my opinion. But I can’t be mad… it cost $5. Not a complete lost. Then my friend and I shared spicy tuna rolls, shrimp tempura rolls & edamame. At $6/roll you can’t really go wrong. It was delicious for how much it cost. Plus the bar view seating was gorgeous.
This place we went to before wandering the night away. We literally hopped into an Uber and said, take us somewhere the locals go to eat. We were dropped off in this modern, bright looking diner called Big Pink. It is a HUGE place that can accommodate for a lot people, which is great considering it is across the street from a very popular club, and closes at 5:30pm. The menu is just as big as the place (so so many options). Pictured above is the classic waffle, and a Fried Chicken Benedict. I’m a sucker for benedicts, and this one had waffles as the base instead of the usual english muffin. To be honest the food itself was okay; lots of points for creativity. I think there were too many flavors going on and didn’t mesh well as one. Like do I put the syrup on it, on top of the hollandaise sauce? *shrug. However, the people working here are amazing and I do encourage you to go. That is because the manager decided to just sit down and chit chat with us for a bit, he told us about so many amazing places to go, including a club that’s hidden behind a taco place (called Bodega, and you have to walk through a freezer door to get to it). It was a great conversation. Also, prior to that I could enjoy a drink while watching the Knicks lose… as usual. Yes they have a full bar.
Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita
By far one of my favorite restaurant names ever. A friend that used to live in Miami suggested this place to me. I was confused initially because … I mean… look at the name. Then I looked up the place and understood. Dolores, But You Can Call Me Lolita, has a restaurant side, and a lounge side (Lolita). Alter-egos in restaurant form! We came here for brunch; shared an appetizer that had tostones as a base with a strawberry-pico-de-gallo-esque topping (they don’t seem to have it on their menu online anymore). Then we got croissant egg sandwiches w/patatas bravas. Patatas bravas is like a cross between home fries, and chips. Between the buttery croissants were eggs, ham and cheddar. Everything on that plate was delicious, which is saying a lot because I usually don’t like ham. Very good meal to recuperate from the night before. Soak up all the gin in my body.
Now that place, Palace, we heard about from someone we met at Mangoes (the epitome of South Beach supposedly) our first night there. He said that every weekend they host drag brunch shows. So of course we’re like we have to see this before we leave.
Boy was it a GRAND time. First off, I didnt’ know the show itself took place on the sidewalk, so I definitely got sunburned that day (I burn easily… I’m pasty). Every performer there does an amazing job. They really do a great job at getting the crowd really into it. That, mixed with bottomless mimosas really help get the positive vibes flowing. Don’t forget the food though! I went with my go-to: steak & eggs (except they added mash too) accompanied with a churrasco sauce. It was actually better than I expected. Like they really know what they’re doing out there. You get all of this for about $40: food, show, booze and all. OH! Don’t forget to bring singles for the performers! Don’t worry, you don’t have to stick it anywhere you don’t want to. I definitely want to come back here when I visit Miami again.
As for my cuban sandwich experience, because we were running out of time/wanted to nap, I actually just ended up using Uber Eats. I ordered a cuban sandwich and Guayaba (guaya) Con Queso Empanadas from Doce Provisions. It came very quickly, the sandwich was crunchy and delicious. I prefer my sandwiches grilled. I’m also automatically biased towards guayaba thanks to my friends who have grandmas in the Dominican Republic that make fresh guayaba jam. All of it was great, and I didn’t have to get out of my pajamas.
All in all, don’t sleep on the food in Miami. Make sure to pack your bathing suits and head to south beach at some point. People watching on South Beach is also a very entertaining activity. Until next time!