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Posts Tagged ‘Comfort Food’

BLUE COLLAR

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

6730 Biscayne Blvd.
(305) 576-0366
bluecollarmiami.com

Daniel Serfer, Chef de Cuisine for 5 years at Chef Allens in Aventura, and most recently, 15th Street Fisheries in Fort Lauderdale, has created a much buzzed-about neighborhood restaurant along Biscayne Boulevard. Now open a little more than a year, he is sending out some ambitious, mouthwatering, if oversized, plates in this tiny (25 seats) interior with an additional outdoor patio. Blue Collar certainly implies the working-class are being catered to, but the crowd is also young singles, and families who are joining the crowd for a sampling of Serfer’s widely varied American comfort food.

Appetizers to “nosh on ” seem the perfect place to start. Do not skip the shrimp and grits, which is outfitted with a Piedmontese trugole cheese charged with chunks of bacon, and a New Orleans style bbq sauce.  It doesn’t get any better than this marriage of flavors topped off with lots of local pink shrimp. What blue-collar meal would be complete without a healthy portion of pork and beans and Berkhire sausage under an oozing egg? While “healthy” as in size, not as in “nutrition,” the menu is heavy on carbs and fried foods. The daily chalkboard always includes: Ribs with warm German potato salad, a “Parm,” that could be chicken, veal pork on angel hair with a red sauce, and a Braise which could be a tender brisket, pot roast or ox tails, accompanied by mash potatoes.

I don’t know of another eatery that offers more than 20 different vegetables, and at recession prices of $4.00 a plate. This is a vegetarian paradise of grilled asparagus topped with blue cheese, roasted butternut squash or fennel, sautéed kale and artichoke hearts in a lemon aioli among others. The choice of crispy snapper with rock shrimp, grilled Cobia, and Mahi Mahi are simple and pleasing local offerings.

Thirteen brews from Delaware to Belgium and some old fashioned sodas, such as orange, or black cherry cream soda, numbers among the offerings. The bread pudding is a popular conclusion to the meal.  Be ready for small tables and close quarters, but it’s recommended over the outdoor patio, which is far too close to the Biscayne traffic.

Monday – Friday: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday: 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday – Sunday (brunch): 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

LATIN CAFE 2000

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

2501 Biscayne Boulevard
305-576-3838
latincafe2000.com

If you are new to Miami and want to experience real Latin food in a restaurant that looks like the real thing on busy Biscayne in a quasi-tropical setting, this is the ticket. Hearty helpings with choices so vast it’s best to bring a friend to share plates. You could start with desayuno fueled with café con leche and huevos fritos. My preference would be the lunchtime sandwiches, Espanol or Cubano. You can’t go wrong with the medianoche, pressed and toasted bread with either bolo ham (sweet ham) or turkey breast slathered with strawberry jam and cream cheese. At dinner, a pork dish would be appropriate; either fried, roasted or grilled. While embracing the cuisine, tempt yourself with a few croquetas of ham, pork and Swiss cheese, fried sweet plantains and the moros(rice and beans.) Specials are offered every day.

Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 11:30 pm

SABOR A PERU

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

2923 Biscayne Boulevard
(305) 573-9637
saboraperu.net

Miami now has a number of Peruvian restaurants, but this one feels like the real thing. From the moment you enter; you are confronted by clusters of Peruvian families engaged in conversations while sipping the traditional fruit juices, a glass of sangria or perhaps the native cerveza Cusquena.  The restaurant is small, and the tables are close together. Pictures of Peruvian families grace the walls. A poster lists all the fruit juices with translations into English.   The waitress offers to explain the menu with a welcoming smile.

Traditionally, Peruvians might start with papas a la huancaina, a saffron colored cheese sauce.  Sharing is an especially good idea here as with all the dishes as the portions are enormous.  Jump start the meal with a refreshing citrus marinated ceviche de pescado which was a striped bass on one occasion, then move on to the soups.  Two outstanding choices are the Parihuela, a fish and seafood soup that overwhelms the senses with a deep and lusty broth and overflowing with bass, shrimp, large and small, squid, and mussels, or the Aguadito de Mariscos, an exotic, bright green cilantro broth chockfull of seafood.

Serious carnivors should try the Lomo Saltado; the house recommended dish of beef loin, sliced, sautéed and served like a giant stew piled high with peppers, onions and French fries.

Parking is in the rear and several tables exist outside on busy Biscayne.

Monday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 11:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 12:30 am
Sunday: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

SOYKA

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

5556 NE 4th Court
305 759-3117
soykacafe.com

The owner, Mark Soyka, originally purchased this warehouse in 1999 to house his collection of vintage cars and one day in 1999 decided to transition it to restaurant status, a pioneering idea at the time.  It has had its ups and downs. We are encouraged by the pleasant staff that greeted us and who related that the restaurant is under new management. A new chef has been hired away from a very popular local watering hole.  This huge, high ceilinged room with massive steel beams  and leather banquets focuses its menu on comfort food.  One recent special was the lobster risotto with crab, peas and saffron and baked pompano with ginger soy.  Happy hour is from 3-7PM and the restaurant is opened daily.

Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am