Its ironic my last post was about Whitney Port & Co's trip to Miami, as later that same week, I flew to Miami as well! During my four day vacation, I was lucky enough to dine out at several excellent spots! If you find yourself in Miami (pronounced Mee-Ah-Me) check out these gems:
1) Books and Books - Books and Books is one of my favorite types of hybrids: bookstore and cafe. This not like Borders, or Barnes and Noble. Books and Books is a real Mom and Pop operation, with a wide selection of both reading materials (books, magazines, and gifts) and a menu with something for everyone. The Coral Gables location has the most exquisite outdoor patio. That's one of my favorite spots in all of Miami. The other location is on Lincoln Road on South Beach. I dined at the Lincoln Road location on Friday night. It just so happens to be next to the Diesel store, which was having a party that night, and there were four GORGEOUS male models in tiny bathing suits enticing people to come in. Ding, ding, ding, jackpot!
I ordered my usual: the avocado and cheddar sandwich on a french baguette. I will order anything that has avocado in it. Anything. This sandwich also has lettuce, tomato and bean sprouts. A vegetarian's dream! The sandwich comes with a side of salad, but that can be substituted for french fries or sweet potato fries (both mouth wateringly delicious).
Books and Books also carries fresh cupcakes from a local bakery. The red velvet is a must try! They also make a delicious raspberry lemonade to wash down all that yummy goodness!
The menu has salad, sandwiches, burgers, and vegetarian and vegan choices, providing many great menu options no matter your taste. Both locations offer outdoor tables and friendly servers. I have never had anything but a delightful experience.
2) Berries - Sunday morning I had brunch at Berries in Coconut Grove. I had been once before, but at night, so I couldn't appreciate how much of the restaurant is outdoors! Half of the seating is on the sidewalk patio, half is in a beautiful courtyard, and there are a few tables inside. Berries used to be nothing more than a smoothie tiki hut and its now a beautiful restaurant with a great menu.
We went for brunch and I started with a $4 mimosa. That is UNHEARD of in Boston or New York. That Sunday morning fizzy drink will set you back $8-$12 dollars! I wanted to drink three just on principle!
I ordered the Mexican omelet which was fluffy eggs, diced tomato, onions and peppers and black beans on the inside. The omelet came with 2 pieces of toast (a delicious whole grain) and a side of home fries, which were tossed with onions and green peppers and perfectly seasoned! YUM. Have I said enough to convince you to go?
3) Roma Organic Gelato - I discovered Roma almost a year ago when the Mary Brickell Village Plaza first opened in downtown Miami, just off of Brickell Ave. The owner is a tall, red haired Italian who smiles happily when you ask to taste his many organic gelato flavors. I have tried Chocolate, Coffee, Strawberry, Raspberry and Hazelnut over the last year, and each one was creamy, full of flavor and delicious. The portions are generous, and are served with a little, neon, plastic shovel for a spoon! I scream, you scream, we all scream for . . . ROMA!
4) Piola - Monday afternoon, my last day in Miami, my mother and I walked from our condo just a few blocks down Brickell Ave to the new pizza place Piola. Piola has outdoor tables as well as an indoor restaurant that has a sexy lounge vibe. The walls are red, and there are funky blue, green and yellow light fixtures illuminating the dining room.
We ordered a salad that came with mixed greens, tomatoes, bean sprouts, corn, hard boiled eggs, avocado, and fresh mozzarella. So fresh and delicious! We tried a thin crust pizza with sauce, mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes, arugula, and shaved parmesan. It was so good, we left not even a piece of crust on the plate!
To top off the already perfect experience, our waiter was SUPER cute, attentive and did I mention cute? My mom was sure to slip in that we are "his neighbors" since we live just up the street. Feel free to come and borrow a cup of sugar.