The Best of Yelp’s Ten-Year Anniversary

Photo courtesy of: Miami New Times

Photo courtesy of: Miami New Times

Over the weekend I helped celebrate Yelp’s 10th year anniversary at the Yelpies at the Coral Gables Museum. I have been part of the Yelp community for a while so it was really cool to get together with other Miami foodies just like me. While I was there I obviously tried to eat as much as my stomach would allow and I want to share with you a few of my favorite spots.


1.    Robeks: I know we are all on the diet trend, right? Aren’t we always? I don't eat raw kale on its own but when it is mixed with other veggies and fruits I dig it. They were serving up a smoothie with kale, pineapple, papaya, and coconut water to bring it all together. I could and would drink this everyday if they had a store near me.

2.    Wynwood Brewing Company: They were serving two of their beers – La Rubia and the Pop’s Porter. I have to admit that I am still not a huge fan of dark beers so I gravitated more towards La Rubia, which is actually the lightest beer they brew. I really loved it because it wasn't too bitter and full of sweet flavor.

3.    TK’s: I love sweets, and when their head chef gave me their tres leches cheesecake to try I literally died and went to heaven. I probably ate it a little to fast, but wow it was honestly out of this world. Everything about it was perfect.

4.    SpecialTEA: Anything and everything is really good when you go to SpecialTEA. One of my favorite things (you know I love sweets) are their cookies. I will drive 30 minutes just for their cookies. Not only were they serving their crème brulee ice coffee but they were given out chocolate chip cookies that melted in your mouth – I took a few, I will admit.

5.    Swine: I am normally not into having fruit as part of as part of a “meal” per say, unless it’s dessert, but I decided to try their prochetta with watermelon and it was surprisingly delicious! This isn’t something I would usually choose as an appetizer at a restaurant, but I am really glad I tried it because now I might!

6.    Jimmy Z: Who doesn't love cheese? Let me ask a better question. Who doesn't love fried cheese? They were serving on a platter these heavenly fried cheese balls that were so delicious! Can’t wait to check this place out and try their mofongo – that’s what they are known for.

7.    La Mexicana Cantina & Grill: One of my last stops of the night was to their booth, and boy am I glad I stopped by. They were giving out two flour tortillas with shredded meat and chicken. Real authentic Mexican food.

To read my reviews on Yelp click here!

What To Do When You Visit Sanibel Island

I have been going to Sanibel Island since before I was born, literally. Because I have been going there forever this place harbors great memories, and I have a few places you can’t miss when you go. 

Here is a list I have put together of my must-stop places when you visit the relaxing Sanibel Island.

Island Pizza Company
1619 Periwinkle Way
My parents always laugh but this has to be my first stop when I get on the island. One night I remember we got there way too late and it was closed. It was a tragedy. These people, by far, make the best pizza. They have been voted “The Best Pizza on the Island” several years in a row. And they also have gluten-free crust! 

Photo courtesy of: Trip Adivsor

Photo courtesy of: Trip Adivsor

Cheeburger Cheeburger
1975 Periwinkle Way
This place is a staple on the island. Even though they have moved from their original location the burgers are still the same. And if you aren’t in the mood for burgers they have delicious chicken sandwiches that you can load with whatever toppings you want. I usually just add caramelized onions – that usually does the trick. And don't forget to pair that with either onion rings or sweet potato fries. Oh and did I mention that they have milkshakes that are out of this world?

Photo courtesy of: Cheeburger Cheeburger

Photo courtesy of: Cheeburger Cheeburger

Lighthouse Café
362 Periwinkle Way
These people literally make the world’s best breakfast. You can have everything from eggs benedict to malted hot cakes. The best part is that they have a board with daily specials and there are usually some pretty delicious breakfast desserts like toffee malted hot cakes, or banana bread French toast.

Photo courtesy of: Randomiami

Photo courtesy of: Randomiami

Photo courtesy of: Randomiami

Photo courtesy of: Randomiami

Schnapper’s Hots
1528 Periwinkle Way
I hadn’t had a hot dog in years, but when I walked into Schnapper’s Hots one rainy afternoon I knew I needed to try their Original Schnapper hot dog. It is chargrilled with mustard, dill relish, their secret sauce (piccalilli relish), chopped sweet onions, and pickle spears. And you have to pair the hot dog with their off-the-chain French fries. So good.

Photo courtesy of: Randomiami

Photo courtesy of: Randomiami

The Green Flash
15183 Captiva Drive
I know technically this restaurant is in Captiva, but it’s only a 15 minute drive on the island. The main reason why I wanted to put The Green Flash on the list is for their shrimp bisque. This is something that you can’t leave the island without trying. This is the kind of soup you burn the tip of your tongue for because it’s so good. They also have crab cakes that are simply delicious.

Photo courtesy of: Art Hill

Photo courtesy of: Art Hill

Periwinkle Place Shops
2075 Periwinkle Way
This is one of the cutest outside shopping malls you will ever encounter. The shops include everything from clothes to jewelry, to even a day spa and restaurant. Everything you need for a days worth of relaxation.

Photo courtesy of: Periwinkle Place

Photo courtesy of: Periwinkle Place

For places to stay when you visit Sanibel Island check out this link!

Rando Review: Panther Coffee

A few years ago my husband and I stumbled upon one of the best coffee shops here in Miami – Panther Coffee. We had always been looking for a cool place to grab a coffee and hang out, but had never found one until we ran into the husband-and-wife owned shop.

Joel Pollock and Leticia Ramos Pollock have made sure that every cup of coffee is special. Each cup of coffee is actually brewed on site, in small batches, each of which have their origin in farms personally-selected by the pair. 

What I really love about Panther Coffee is there are so many ways you can get your coffee brewed – Clever, French Press, Hario V60, Chemex, Vacuum, and, of course, they have Cold Brew. 

So if you are looking for a coffee shop where you can grab a delicious cup of coffee and read a book, or work on your laptop then this is the spot for you. They currently have two locations and are opening up their third in Little Haiti, so stay tuned.

Locations: 2390 NW 2nd Ave., | Miami, FL 33127
                1875 Purdy Ave., | Miami Beach, FL 33139
Website: http://www.panthercoffee.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/panther.coffee.7?fref=ts 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/panthercoffee 

Wynwood store

Wynwood store

Iced Americano

Iced Americano

Espresso Macchiato

Espresso Macchiato

The Best Cuban Sandwich in Miami

I was born in Miami and I am Cuban-American so it is fair to say that I have had my fair share of Cuban sandwiches. From growing up eating every weekend at La Carreta to those weekends when you end up at Sergio’s – I have tried a few. 

But there was something very special when I saw the Cuban sandwich from Enriqueta’s. 
At first you walk in and realize that you are literally eating in a hole in the wall restaurant in the middle of Midtown and Wynwood, but you can smell the appetizing aroma of the place from across the street.

At first I was going to put together a list of the best Cuban sandwiches in Miami, but I decided this sandwich merited its own post. When you get the Cuban the first thing you realize is that the cheese is simply oozing out of the sandwich, literally. You open it up just to see what goodness it is made out of and you see your ham, pork, cheese, mustard, pickle and two croquetas. Oh and did I mention that the Cuban bread is toasted to absolute perfection?

If you haven’t tried the Cuban sandwich from Enriqueta’s then I suggest you make a trip out there this weekend. It is so worth it. And if I were you I would pair it with a Materva. This is heaven my friends. 

Location: 186 NE 29th St. | Miami, FL 33137
Website: https://plus.google.com/100781141645160464365/about?gl=us&hl=en

Enriquetas_Sandwhich_Shop_Midtown
Enriquetas_Cuban_Sandwich
Enriquetas_Cuban_Sandwich.jpg

Rando Event: thefood-e Happy Hour at Buns & Buns

Buns & Buns is one of the newest additions to the South Miami area and I have been dying to try it for months! Come join me this Friday from 7-9 p.m. at thefood-e happy hour at Buns & Buns!

Check out what they will be offering to those who attend the event!

•    $3 Draft and select bottles of beer

•    $6 COCKTAILS
- Sangria
- O'Pama
- Bunosa Mimosa 
- Blueberry Cobbler

•    $4 BITES
- Mini Burger (fontina cheese / bacon / wilted watercress / special sauce)
- Spinach Poofs (tahini / manchego cheese)
- Truffled Cheese Fries
- Corn Fritter (beer batter / sumac / lime / garlic aioli)
- Mini BBQ Pulled Pork Buns (cabbage slaw / pickled onions / aioli)
- Hot Nutella Buns (chocolate / vanilla / raspberry-pomegranate sauce)

Just a quick side note - I will probably be trying one of each of the bites mentioned above.

P.S. We will also be celebrating my birthday ;)

Location: 5748 Sunset Dr. | South Miami, FL 33143
Website: http://www.bunsandbuns.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bunsandbuns 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BunsAndBuns 

Also make sure to follow thefood-e!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefoode 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thefoode

 

Photo courtesy of: the food-e

Photo courtesy of: the food-e

Photo courtesy of: the food-e

Photo courtesy of: the food-e

Photo courtesy of: the food-e

Photo courtesy of: the food-e

Rando Review: Insomnia Cookies

Imagine this. It’s 2 a.m. and you are starving. But you don't feel like having a legit meal – you want cookies! The long wait is finally over. Insomnia Cookies has finally made landfall in Miami!

Insomnia Cookies is probably what heaven feels and tastes like. When you enter the small store you are greeted by the smell of fresh baked cookies. You have the option of either getting a regular sized cookie, a deluxe cookie, a cookie sandwich, or a cookie with a scoop of ice cream. The coolest thing about Insomnia Cookies is they will deliver these cookies directly to your doorstep until 3 a.m.!

How was this amazing concept born? In 2003 Seth Berkowitz started baking and delivery warm cookies to students late night on campus at the University of Pennsylvania for those who were hungry. Now Insomnia Cookies has more than forty locations in the states and is also starting to offer catering for those businesses that want to be the coolest on the block. 

Take a look at the delicious cookies I tried when I stopped at Insomnia Cookies for the first time – s'mores deluxe cookie, chocolate peanut butter cup deluxe cookie, white chocolate macadamia cookie, and a chocolate chunk cookie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So out of control, and so delicious. 

Location: 1227 Washington Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139
Website: https://insomniacookies.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/insomniacookies 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/insomniacookies/ 
Instagram: http://instagram.com/insomniacookiesofficial/ 

Insomnia Cookies

Insomnia Cookies

Insomnia Cookies Menu

Insomnia Cookies Menu

Insomnia Cookies Tray

Insomnia Cookies Tray

Insomnia Cookies & Ice Cream w/ Milk

Insomnia Cookies & Ice Cream w/ Milk

Rando Review: SoFi Café

Last weekend I was invited to try out this new spot in South Beach – South of Fifth to be exact (SoFi), and I think I have fallen in love. We are always looking for that healthier option for breakfast and lunch that is not only great for your body, but is also quick and doesn't break the bank. SoFi Café is that place for you.

This café offers an array of delicious and nutritious foods. I want to start off by telling you about their acai bowls, which are out of this world. I tried two – the Power Bowl and the Ultra Bowl. The Power Bowl is really great for pre or post workouts or even for breakfast. It is filled with acai, bananas and peanut butter, plus they top it off with granola. And then their Ultra Bowl will blow you away. The acai they use is organic straight from Brazil. The consistency is very different from other acai bowls that are icier and not creamy.

For those who want something more on-the-go then you have to try their juice selection. I fell in love with their Life Potion, which has pineapple, orange juice with a hint of strawberry and honey, and to top it off ginger! And for those that love carrot you have to try their Orange Warrior, which has orange, carrot juice, pineapple, and apple. So good.

If you live in the area or are just looking from something nutritious and delicious to fill your belly then you have to check out SoFi Café. And for those that live on the beach they deliver up to 41st!

Location: 500 S Pointe Dr., Suite 180 | Miami Beach, FL 33139
Website: http://sofi-cafe.com/#!home 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sofi-Cafe/496791473785245 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sofi_Cafe 

SoFi Cafe

SoFi Cafe

Power Bowl & Life Potion

Power Bowl & Life Potion

Ultra Bowl

Ultra Bowl

Orange Warrior

Orange Warrior

Me and the manager (Angela) & owner (Matias).

Me and the manager (Angela) & owner (Matias).

Your 5 Go-To Summer Cocktails

It’s pretty 50/50 whether or not you had a great week or a crappy week. No worries – whether you totally killed it in a meeting with your team this week, or your best friend just moved away for another job opportunity I have some cocktails you have to try this summer.

Drink responsibly. And just like my friend The Most Interesting Man in the World would say – “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

The Broken Shaker – Root Beer Old Fashioned

2727 Indian Creek Dr. | Miami Beach, FL 33140

I really can’t talk enough about this bar, which is now serving yummy treats as well. Every time I go I not only have a great experience, but I also try their Old Fashioned special, and right now they are featuring their Root Beer Old Fashioned. They serve their old Forester Bourbon with a house root beer reduction and sarsaparilla bitters. Say hello to your childhood.

The_Broken_Shaker_Root_Beer_Old_Fashioned

Blackbird Ordinary – Bearded Bellybird

729 SW 1st Ave. | Miami, FL 33130

You have to love Blackbird. Seems like I am there for happy hour every month. Where it's located is a bit strange but once you’re inside jamming to the band that is playing you kind of forget where you are. If you are a coffee lover then you must try their Bearded Bellybird – love the name! It’s a combination of whiskey with Licor 43, almond syrup, and Panther Coffee, of course. This is not for the faint of heart.

Blackbird_Ordinary_Bearded_Bellybird

Rose Bar at Delano – Tequila Mockingbird

1685 Collins Ave. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Looking for something even more hard hitting yet still refreshing? The Tequila Mockingbird is your man. Made with Avion Silver, pineapple, pink peppercorn syrup, a dash of lemon juice, and topped with sage leaves you can’t go wrong. Plus you’ll be at the Delano!

Rose_Bar_Delano_Tequila_Mockingbird

Haven Gastro-Lounge – Fever

1237 Lincoln Rd. | Miami Beach, FL 33139

Now if you’re into spicy drinks you have to try their Fever made with prosecco, lychee, pear, and jalapeño. This drink is great for summer – spicy yet sweet!

Haven_Gastro_Lounge_Fever

The Corner – The Aristocrat

1035 N Miami Ave. | Miami, FL 33136

Last, but not least, I know we are all trying to get “skinny” for the summer, right? So for those that are still on that diet try The Corner’s The Aristocrat. You still get your cocktail, which has gin, cucumber, lemon and sage, but without the hundreds of calories. You might want to also check out their food menu. Just saying, it’s pretty delicious. 

The_Corner_The_Aristocrat

Rando Review: Riviera Focacceria Italiana

I am going to start this review my admitting that I am not a big pasta eater, but when my family wanted to try out this new restaurant in Midtown I was in, and boy am I glad I went. It was hands down one of the best and most satisfying meals that I have had in Miami. The food was fresh and homemade, and the service was flawless. I would go again and again.

For the first course we started with one of the biggest reasons why people flock to this restaurant – their Focaccia di Recco – two layers of incredibly thin dough filled with imported stracchino cheese. Warning: Once you try you will be hooked. We also tried their Focaccia de Recco con Pesto, which is made with their delicious homemade pesto sauce.

And even if pesto sauce isn’t your thing I highly recommend you try their Mandilli di Seta al Pesto. Their handkerchief style pasta with authentic pesto sauce (made with organic sweet basil, pine nuts, a touch of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and Parmigiano cheese) is out of this world. I literally couldn't stop eating it.

And for those who don't want to venture into the pesto then try their Pansoti al Sugo di Noci – pasta that is stuffed with spinach, ricotta cheese, chard, Italian herbs, spices, and Parmigiano cheese. Or their Polpo Riviera – a lighter option with octopus, diced potato, celery, olives, cherry tomato, topped with extra virgin olive oil.

And, last but certainly not least, the dessert. We tried their Sacripantina and Mousse di Pistacchio. Both of them are so incredibly delicious you won't be able to put your spoon down.

If this hasn't made you incredibly hungry then there may be something wrong with your palate.

 

Location: 3252 NE Buena Vista Ave. | Miami, FL 33137

Website: http://www.rivierafocacceria.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Riviera-Focacceria-Miami/260482507454811

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RivieraFocaccia

Focaccia Di Recco

Focaccia Di Recco

Focaccia De Recco Con Pesto

Focaccia De Recco Con Pesto

Mandilli Di Seta Al Pesto

Mandilli Di Seta Al Pesto

Pansoti Al Sugo Di Noci 

Pansoti Al Sugo Di Noci 

Polpo Riviera

Polpo Riviera

Sacripantina

Sacripantina

Mousse Di Pistacchio

Mousse Di Pistacchio

Rando Review: Eating House Miami

When Eating House Miami opened up shop last year I tried to get in for brunch one weekend, get this, without a reservation. Needless to say I couldn't get in because it was packed! A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get in to celebrate a birthday, and I have to tell you it was an absolutely delicious and flavorful dinner.

Disclaimer: I went with a group of people so please don't think I ate all of these appetizers, entrees and desserts on my own, but I will tell you I tried each and every one.

For appetizers we had the out of this world burrata, grilled carrots and, of course, the queso frito. If you are like the hundreds of people out there on a diet and you only want to try one then you have to try the queso frito. It is more than worth it. The cheese literally melts in your mouth. Did I mention there is smoked guava involved?

When it comes to the entrees you should order a few so you can try some of the top performing dishes like the lamb vaca frita, short rib and for the pasta lovers the pasta carbonara. I personally am in a love affair with the short ribs.

And to top it off, even if you are about to explode, you have to try one of their desserts. Everyone always tries the dirt cup, which has nutella, cookie crumbs and pretzels (salty but sweet). Oh and the bread pudding is also heaven on a plate.

Honestly, anything you have at Eating House Miami will have your taste buds dancing. I am 100% sure you won’t be disappointed. Eat up!

 

Location: 804 Ponce De Leon Blvd | Coral Gables, FL 33178

Website: http://www.eatinghousemiami.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EatingHouse305?ref=br_tf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eating_house

Burrata

Burrata

Grilled carrots

Grilled carrots

Queso frito

Queso frito

Lamb vaca frita

Lamb vaca frita

Short ribs

Short ribs

Pasta carbonara

Pasta carbonara

Dirt cup

Dirt cup

Bread pudding

Bread pudding