Eating my way through Miami
I find sunshine during the winter months to be incredibly rejuvenating and refreshing, and I am sure most of you do as well. There is something about the hot sun on my face that nudges me to be nicer, happier, and more thankful for everything in my life. I must be extremely nice, happy, and thankful right now, because I just spent 5 fabulous days in Miami with PhillyBoy. While it was mostly a work trip for him, I got to spend my days lounging by the pool, exercising in a fabulous gym, shopping, and more. At night we attended work-related dinners where I all too happily got to learn more about what PhillyBoy does and how it all works, all the while being inspired by the work ethic and career paths of all those surrounding me.
Here are three memorable eating experiences I was able to photograph and document for you:
The Cafe at Books & Books
Located on Lincoln Road, The Cafe at Books & Books is one of many eateries with outdoor seating that is open for lunch. What makes it special is that it offers a lot of healthy and fresh options. I ate here last year when I came to Miami with my best friend Lynne, and I was really looking forward to the bagel chips with black bean hummus that I remembered from last year. Unfortunately, when the appetizer arrived, there were crackers instead of bagel chips. I inquired why the bagel chips were missing and was told there were none that day, only to see another patron eating them about 30 minutes later. Oh the injustice!
To be honest, without the crunchy and crispy bagel chips, this appetizer was lackluster but helped to quiet our grumbling bellies.
For lunch I had a fresh herbal raspberry tea plus the Sobe Cobb salad, described on the menu as “roasted turkey breast with crumbled bleu cheese, avocado, honey chipotle pecans, hard boiled egg & ripe tomato on a bed of mixed field greens with house dijon dressing”. I had mine with the dressing on the side and no bacon and bleu cheese, but luckily was able to photograph one of our fellow diners’ salads with all of the components:
All of the flavors and textures mixed really well together in this fresh salad, and I especially loved the chipotle pecans. They almost tasted like bacon, which I love, but don’t ever eat. It was a nice surprise!
My iced tea was also very fresh and delicious:
PhillyBoy ordered a great sandwich but when I tasted one of his fries I completely forgot about it. These french fries were slightly crispy on the outside but super soft on the inside and not greasy at all. I will admit I stole more than a few off his plate!
We ended the afternoon with a quick stop into Tasti D Lite, so I could have just a sample. Of course, once I sampled the dutch chocolate softserve, I had to have a small cup, which I enjoyed with a small sprinkling of extra crunchy granola. I was disheartened to find that this little cup (it looks MUCH larger in the photo) was over $5. I suppose it fell in line with the priciness of Miami in general. But I will be honest, it was worth it!
Vida at Fontainebleau
As we were staying at the Fontainebleau (which is a gorgeous place to stay, by the way), we ate several meals there in our 5 days in Miami. One morning PhillyBoy and I ended up at Vida, one of the few breakfast options at the resort. (Side note: I was quite disappointed in the lack of eating options for such a large resort. As far as I could tell there were two real breakfast options, a small to go cafe offering bagels, pastries and coffees and Vida, a sit down restaurant. I would have liked to eat breakfast outdoors as the weather was gorgeous, but it wasn’t an option as far as I could tell). Vida offered a breakfast buffet for $24, but we both chose to order off the menu. I am happy we did because the breakfast was truly delicious.
PhillyBoy ordered a dish I had never heard of before, Crab Benedict. From the menu, it was “crab cakes layered with spinach, poached eggs with citrus hollandaise. Served with home fried potatoes”. I had a bite and it was quite incredible. The crab cakes were very soft and when mixed with a bit of the egg tasted like a bite of creamy heaven. I wasn’t sure I would like the combination of crab + eggs, but it was really creative and tasty.
Wanting a lighter breakfast that would still keep me full until our late lunch, I ordered the Spanish omelet with only two eggs, dry seven grain toast, and fruit instead of home fries, but there must have been a language barrier as I was served a Spinach omelet with two eggs, baby spinach, and brie. It was still delicious, and I enjoyed the fresh pineapple and fruit cup in place of the home fries. (The resort was fully lacking in fresh fruit, and the one location that was expected to have a lot of fresh fruit, Fresh, actually had small containers of old looking fruit selling for $8 each. I was so happy to see fruit cups available at Vida!) I will say the presentation of the omelet was quite terrible as it looked so lonely on its large white plate, but the beautiful presentation of the pineapple made up for it!
La Cote at Fontainebleau
Possibly my favorite meal in Miami was our last one. Before leaving for the airport and after a full day of sun, PhillyBoy and I headed to La Cote, the outdoor restaurant behind the pool area at the resort. We had eaten there with some of his work peers two days earlier, but somehow this meal was much more special. Once we sat down we each immediately ordered a starter, the gazpacho shooters for him and the tuna tartar for me.
Gazpacho shooters (From the menu: iced lobster, shrimp, mussels and himachi):
Tuna tartar (From the menu: avocado, cucumber, croutons and sea salt):
I am not sure if it was that I was super hungry or that this dish was excellent, but I fully enjoyed this dish. I wish I had discovered my love for tuna tartar earlier in life as it is a true delight. Not only was the presentation of the tuna tartar beautiful, all the flavors and textures married well together into an explosion of happiness in my mouth. I especially enjoyed the combination of smooth and sweet avocado and tuna with the spicy sauce that decorated the plate. YUM!
For our entrees, we each ordered a sandwich. Looking back it seems like an odd choice, but it made complete sense at the time.
Grilled Tuna Sandwich (From the menu: wasabi mayonnaise, asian slaw & french fries):
Grilled Chicken Club (From the menu: with Avocado, bacon, tomato, lettuce, swiss cheese, mayonnaise & french fries- I had mine with no mayonnaise or bacon):
Most of you know or remember that I rarely eat chicken (or beef), but PB had this sandwich earlier in the week and I had food envy, so I just had to have it. It did not disappoint! The chicken was cooked perfectly, and I loved the use of avocado as a spread on the sandwich- yum! I only managed half of it as it was so large, but it was fantastic!
Thanks for taking the ride through three memorable meals on our trip to Miami! Happy eating!