October 4th, 2006

Birthday bites around Miami

Okay, so I lied. I know I said I’d keep up with Mango&Lime while my family was in town but I was a little too ambitious. In fact, this blog didn�t even enter my mind while they were here. On the upside, I enjoyed every bite in their company – I wasn�t overly concerned with good pictures of my food or what I�d write about it; I just enjoyed it. In the process, we hit a few favorite spots so I figured I�d recap.

Our first stop on Friday was La Moon for Colombian hot dogs. They just really wanted one after reading about them here. Ironically, no one ordered one. My brother and I shared a picada — lots of yummy grease: fried pork rinds, steak, papas criollas (small yellow potatoes), French fries, blood sausage and chorizo. It was my birthday weekend so I was entitled to guilt-less eating. I must’ve told myself that 100 times in the past week.

Sleepiness kicked in mid-afternoon – no surprise after that lunch – so we stopped by Buenos Aires Bakery for coffee and an unplanned churro. This Argentinean bakery on 71st and Collins is pretty well known to Miamians, at least those who live on the beach, but if you haven�t been there it�s worth a visit for Argentinean goodies – empanadas, miga sandwiches and a wide variety of facturas (pastries).

Dinner was at UVA 69 on 69th and Biscayne, where we went to listen to the sounds of our friends from Elastic Bond (catch them there every Friday in October). I love UVA’s atmosphere, its outdoor patio and comfortable white couches. They have great salads and sandwiches, and I hear their breakfast is amazing. Probably still full from that lunch picada, I settled for a plate of brie with strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar served with crunchy toast, and we ordered a pitcher of sangria for the table. As often happens in restaurants the amount of bread or chips is not proportionate to the amount of tapenade, dips, cheese or whatever accompanies them, but our waitress was more than happy to bring us more toast. Towards the end of the night, UVA’s manager sat down at our table to ask how our meal was. He informed us that they had just opened an inside area with a full bar. I had been curious about this all night because in my past visits to UVA I hadn’t noticed an inside part. Turns out it’s brand new.

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On Saturday we visited the Coconut Grove Organic Farmers Market — again, they read about it here and wanted to stop by. This time I ate at the deli and I must say their salads are delicious. Not what I would call cheap but they’re definitely worth it. My mom also discovered these sweets made from dates and covered with coconut. Another yummy Glaser product.

After getting caught in pouring Miami rain, we headed to Moises Bakery on 73rd and Collins — my brother wasn’t satisfied with just a salad. Owned by a Venezuelan-raised Portuguese family, this bakery carries a variety of South American treats. I first heard of it from my friend Andrew who raved about its empanadas and Venezuelan arepas. The good thing is they carry Chilean, Argentinean, Venezuelan, Bolivian and Colombian empanadas. I often stop by to pick up an order to take to friends’ homes when I’m visiting and they’re always a hit, particularly the Argentinean kind. The arepas were just okay. I ordered one with cheese, but it’d be better if they filled them when you order instead of letting them sit there already prepared. Melted cheese that’s been sitting for a while is not that wonderful.

For my birthday dinner, I picked Tapas & Tintos on South Beach; not the most original choice but I was going for atmosphere more than anything, although that’s not to say that the food here isn’t good. It is and it’s reasonably priced. Tapas & Tintos sits at a corner of Miami’s historical Española Way — a quaint and charming street in the middle of South Beach seedy. The restaurant offers a full tapas menu. They have live music several nights a week. On Saturdays there’s a live flamenco show, so to sit at a table inside the restaurant you pay $35 per person for a set menu and the show. Not bad, but we opted to sit outside and enjoy the breeze. We ordered sangria again, and among the food choices were: Spanish tortilla, grilled calamari (my favorite of the night), chipirones (baby squid) and a salad.

Looking back it seems like all we did was eat. Night and weekend with family ended with chocolate cake and candles. It was nice.

Buenos Aires Bakery
7134 Collins Ave.
305.861.7887

La Moon Restaurant
144 SW 8th St
305.860.6209

Moises Bakery
7310 Collins Ave
305. 868.0548

Tapas & Tintos
448 Española Way
305.538.TAPA

UVA 69

6900 Biscayne Blvd
305.754.9022

[tags] miami, dining, food, miami restaurants, miami bakeries, tapas [/tags]

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2 Responses to “Birthday bites around Miami”

  1. Happy bday Paula! What a yummy weekend. Thanks for all the reviews. I celebrated my bday at Tapas w/ my family and some friends about three years ago. It was fun! :-)

  2. Dang, all this talk about latin cuisine has made me nastalgic! Do they have this stuff in wisco?? I’ll check that out and let you know what i find. In the meantime, overnight me some of those wonderful empanadas please!

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