Monday, September 27, 2010

Tickets, Miami

Do you think that the guys at Ticketmaster are a bunch of d**ks? Me too. Check out our sweet new sponsor, Barry's Tickets. Unless you have 5 grand to spend on a table at LIV, you're going to have to go through a ticket broker to have any chance of seeing Lebron in person, in which case you should use Barry's Tickets. They're the handsomest ticket brokers and they've got a discount code just for Eat It, Miami readers (you must ask me for it  nicely, though).

Also, I finally figured out how to change my favicon. It's the little thingy next to the URL that looks like a bunch of tiny Cuban sandwiches.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Supper

I posted this almost 3 years ago on my generally awesome stuff blog "This Is Pretty Awesome." I stumbled once again upon the fascinating topic of the final meals that death row inmates request on Gawker, and it is similarly titled ("Last Suppers: How Do You Choose a Final Meal on Death Row"), but mine is 3 years old, remember.

So here's what I wrote. Hopefully all of the links still work. Mmmm, links -

I guess chefs' equivalent of the Aristocrats joke is to tell each other what their last meal would be, if they had to choose it. There's an article in the October 29th issue of Time about it. Of course, you don't have to buy the magazine, you can just read it here.

I was amused to find that, if a chef says his last meal would be an elaborate one, then everyone says he's a liar. One of the most famous chefs of all time, Jacques Pepin, would opt for a hot dog.

Here's an interesting blog to check out - the morbid "Dead Man Eating", which shows what death row inmates choose as their actual last meals. Some of them have pretty good taste.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

EAT IT - EXCITING SPICY LATIN CHICKEN HISPANIC HERITAGE!

Wow, dear faithful readers of mine, do I have some exciting news for you!

Campero Chicken, yes, THE Campero Chicken, only the world's largest Latin Chicken (?) chain, is giving away a free piece of fried chicken, yes a whole piece(!), to customers on Thursday, October 7th, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month!

I know, it's exciting, right? A company I've never heard of has such a delicious product that they have to give it away for free during a commemorative month I didn't even know existed!

Why these people email me to encourage me to make fun of them is beyond me. They must be masochists.

Can we all assimilate already, by the way? Jesus Christ. You don't see the millions of German immigrants in this county getting all fat eating hamburgers and sausages and drinking beer. Oh wait. Well, they don't wear lederhosen, at least. They do sunbathe naked in Haulover Park.

I'm a quarter Cuban but you don't see me wearing my Hispanic heritage on my sleeve (Actually basically every friend of mine knows of it because I talk about it all the time. Maybe what I mean is that I don't drive 15 mph in the fast lane and I actually use my turn signal, so you'd never know I was Hispanic unless I told you.) And I'm Irish, duh, but you don't see me going out and getting drunk all the time. Oh wait. Well, I'm English, too and I don't eat candy for breakfast. And my Italian blood doesn't necessitate that I act all creepy around American girls.

My point is that I think you can celebrate your heritage without being divisive. Like the way I'm all pushy in arguing that Medianoches are far superior to Cuban Sandwiches. Or how Jeff Boden makes egg drop soup for his Filipina girlfriend. We should all be Americans first and foremost (she really likes the Fugees). We can share bits of our traditions with our friends, but let's remember that we're supposed to be a melting pot. That means we all melt together into one thing. And the best way to do that is to GO TO CAMPERO CHICKEN FOR A FREE PIECE OF LATIN CHICKEN. "It's the Latinest!" - this is my new slogan for the company since the existing one is so freaking terrible - "Flavor You Can't Campero." They're kidding me, right? That's worse than "It's Time to Pollo." Oh wait, now I get what Latin chicken is!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Newer New Look for Eat It, Miami

OMG, how sexy is this. I just want to stare at it. Blogger is stepping up its game on the reals, yo. Now I feel like jamming to some Usher -


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eat it - The Forge

Hi.

I'm SuperBee. Some of you may know me by my non-blogger name; some of you see me out at events where I'm slouching around, wearing a beard, fretting about why I can't shed that pesky 20 pounds, while subsisting on a diet of bacon, McDonald's, and Maker's Mark, and thereafter passing out in front of the Below42 Vodka gratis Vodka bar in a pool of my own sweat. Some of you know me because you're British, and I impress you with my disturbing familiarity with BBC programming. Some of you WISH you knew me - Suckazzzzzzzzzz!

Colin happens to be one of the lucky persons who knows me in real, real life. As does All Purpose Dark, and EAT. I should be at a party with EAT right now, celebrating our mutual friend's birthday, but I ate a lot at Break-Fast this evening, and have swollen sausage fingers, and tried to go to Churchill's with the Brit, but got annoyed by having to pay a meth-head not to smear her own feces on my car's door handles... and she couldn't break a $20, so I gave up and came home.

And now that I'm here, what better use of my time, than to whip off a lil' blog about The Forge? Colin wants me to. I don't know why I haven't exacted some sort of toll from him, as he never gave me my fuzzy birthday kisses (as he promised) nor has he taken me out to dinner for my birthday (or even offered) but I suppose I owe him this much for all the times he let me come to his house post Buck-15 and drink off his booze table.

Gael, however, did take me out to dinner for my birthday. And that's why I like her better than Colin.

She took me to the Forge. I had never been to the Forge before last Thursday. The Forge is on 41st Street on Miami Beach, and it is a Miami landmark. You should go.

I enjoy the Forge.

I will be back to the Forge.

I'm gonna start off this blog (400 words in...) with a conversation Colin and I had.

J: (on getting an email alert I had been added to a blogger on EatIt) "Spanks, yo!"

C: Yo, write up that Forge review! I have to assume there was something about which to complain. Don't work too hard. The invitation expires I guess, so I'll just keep inviting you.

J: My hamburger topped with short ribs needed mustard.

C: Those bastards.

J: And not lobster marmalade. Also...not enough free bread.

C: Sounds a bit excessive. Tacky.

J: The French fries in truffle oil were... Superb.

C: That text message conversation should be in the review.

J: It'll be featured. :)

C: Nice I jotted it down in a draft just in case.

Well, Colin, I couldn't access the draft, so I had to retype conversation. And it really took a lot out of me.

Asshat.

Just kidding.

I love you.

Call me.

So, Gael and I went to the Forge on Thursday night. It's fancy. It's actually one of the most visually stunning restaurants I've been to in Miami. Overblown? Yes. Will it survive the test of time without looking completely outdated in 5 years? No (with the exception of the Library). Is it still awesome for right now? Abso-freakin-lutely.

We got a couple delicious cocktails at the bar, before being seated in the Library. The Library is a room that looks like... wait for it... A church. With Empire/Louis XVI furniture. Ok, fine. I guess it sort of looks like a library. Really, they should call it the Art Noveuau Stained Glass room, because it's decorated with books. Kidding! Well, sort of. Books and stained glass.

New paragraph.

We got Miami Spice, because... it's Miami Spice, and after having been to the Forge once, I'll be back (with my parents) and I'll make them buy me expensive meats there. With Gael, I just wanted to have a leisurely meal...with three courses. So we got Spice.

She got Salmon Croquettes, Chicken, and the Torron cheesecake.

I got Yin-Yang Gazpacho (it was actually a bowl of gazpacho with half of the bowl red gazpacho, and the other half yellow gazpacho, but... I made it Yin-Yang. It was amazing to have bi-colored soup.) Then, because I'm a klassy broad, I got... the hamburger. It was topped with short rib meat, and lobster marmalade, which I asked for on the side, because I don't eat anything that lives in water or sand. It also came with like... pomegranite ketchup and a little glass of red wine... and truffle French Fries. The burger was good, but it needed something. Probably mustard. Maybe it would have been better with the lobster marmalade, but... we'll just never know.

The burger also came out with a MOUNTAIN OF THE MOST DELICIOUS CRISPY LONG, AMAZING, HOT, SALTY, TRUFFLE-Y FRENCH FRIES, EVAR.

Afterward, the waiter brought out my torron cheesecake with a strawberry beside it, with a candle in it. And it said "Happy Birthday!" on my dessert plate.

Gael and I sang me Happy Birthday (the waiter awkwardly stood there, but didn't sing to me... and after I had made such funny jokes to him about a wide variety of hilarious topics!) and then I left the candle burning as I ate my cheesecake, because I liked the warm glow it shed on my plate.

Eventually, I blew it out, before it burned the strawberry. Which I then ate.

I have to say, the setting was fantastic. The library was gorgeous, and Gael and I sat in throne-like chairs, and I learned a very valuable lesson: One day, when I become King of the World, and have to sit on a throne, if my throne has sharp, carved wooden decals behind where my head may go, when I throw it back, while letting forth peals of laughter, my crown should have a helmet-y shape in the back so I don't bust it open on my throne's ornamental woodwork.

The service was great, and the food was solid. The French fries were orgasmic.

I had to unbutton my pants at the table after I was finished. (I'm Klassy, with a Kapital K.)

And someday, when I have a mansion, I'm going to construct a room in it like the Library (but I'll also include a TV, a fridge and a microwave, and a bathroom) because I think, quite possibly, the Library Room may be the greatest hangover recovery room ever built. Cozy, while airy, dim but not dark... just... perfect.

I'm not really sure what the protocol is for ending these blogs...

But I think it goes something like The Forge - Eat it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Burger King Is Getting a Brazilian

From the Herald -

"He's 40, has no restaurant experience and made his name keeping trains running on time in Brazil. Bernardo Hees may seem an unlikely new CEO for Burger King, but he's on his way to Miami to launch a new campaign in the global fast-food wars."

In case you haven't heard, Burger King is being acquired by 3G Capital, the company responsible for turning Budweiser into a Belgian beer. Start brushing up on your Portuguese, Miami. They're taking over. And they love it here because, though most Americans consider Miami to be a crazy, dangerous place, it's like Singapore compared to Rio or Sao Paolo.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eat It - Etzel Itzik, 18757 West Dixie Highway, Miami, FL (305) 937-1546

www.theydon'thaveawebsite.omg

I was meeting a friend for lunch last week, and he wanted Etzel Itzik to be a surprise, so he just sent me the address and name at the last minute. I didn't look it up on line and had no idea what to expect. He did tell me it was something of a "hidden gem" and was excited to share the experience with me.

Driving up West Dixie Highway in North Miami, one is accustomed to the usual FedEx location, strip club, auto repair shop, empty lot, etc. You also cross train tracks a bunch of times, for some reason. Just back and forth, over and back.

Well, on a normal Wednesday afternoon, Etzel Itzik, a modest restaurant in an equally modest strip mall that was built before I was born, was teeming with activity. Though the surrounding neighborhood is poor and industrial, the parking lot and adjacent street were packed with luxury cars. I was fortunate to get a spot only because a BMW 750 was pulling out of one of the improvised diagonal lawn spots on NE 187th St., but parking is clearly an issue when dining at this establishment.

Since it's Rosh Hashanah, I thought today would be a good one on which to write my review for Etzel Itzik, though my Jewish readers are probably not supposed to be using their computers until at least sundown. In case you haven't figured it out by now, Etzel Itzik is an Israeli restaurant.

And oh boy, is it Israeli. I've never even been to Israel, but if you've done a lot of traveling, you know that Mediterranean countries and people all have a lot of common qualities. Some are good, like fun-loving attitudes, pounding techno beats!, warm weather, great tans, dancing on tables, garlic on everything. And some are bad, like unshaven armpits, bad driving, and a propensity for starting fights.
 
Etzel Itzik is so foreign-feeling that I bet if you call the phone number, it does that international ring. Like this. It feels like you are in a different country. The decor, the smells, the plates. There are photos plastered all over the walls that give the place a mosaic look. If you were far away you might think the walls were tiled. The tables are small and crowded so that there's barely room to put the food down, in a charming way.

The only giveaway that you're still in the U.S. is that the paper napkins are good-quality, unlike the waxy, translucent ones you get in other countries. Those things just don't do the job. The bathroom probably has terrible one-ply t.p., but I didn't check it out. It might have those toilets you just squat over. Ah, we Americans are a delicate, pampered people.

I would get to this place early, if you're planning on lunch. Probably between 1230 and 1. Otherwise, you'll be standing around waiting for a table, and there's no good place to wait. You'll just be hovering. And since it's still 90 degrees with 80% percent humidity outside, you don't want to be sitting out there.

Once you do get a seat, a pretty young waitress with dark hair and olive skin will come over with a stern look on her face and start slamming little plates down on your table. Olives, pickled carrots, cole slaw, chick peas, pita. She looks like she just got out of the Israeli army and she doesn't take any crap.

The menu is probably impossible to read if you don't know Hebrew. And even though there are English translations, they don't really tell you what you're getting. The friend who took me there is a bad Jew and just described things by saying that we wanted "the tomato and egg thing" and "the hamburger thing" and "the lemonade thing." He eats there regularly, but always with an Israeli who orders for both of them. You can probably just look around and point at stuff that looks good to you. I don't think that will offend anyone there. The badass ex-Israeli military chick waitresses might look at you like you have a checked keffiyeh on your head, but they'll go and get you what you ordered.

So, the things that I just mentioned are the things we ate. They were all tasty. Very fresh. You know when you can taste each of the components since they're really fresh and flavorful? That's what all of the food is like. The hummus is so uncorrupted that it tastes like a bunch of ground chick peas. It's a little on the sandy side, but you know it's the real deal because of this. The lemonade thing comes in a carafe with a straw stuck in it, and once I started drinking it I realized that it was just a mojito without the rum. I haven't decided what I think of that concept. Nope, I've decided. Better with rum.

The pita bread is fresh, doughy, warm. You need to order extra because you want to dip it in everything. We did order an extra one that they didn't bring until we were too full to eat anymore. No big deal. You will probably feel that you should go easy on the waitresses because the place is so full. Plus, they look really tough, and you won't want to push them around.

Though delicious, the food all had parsley and onion and garlic, so I was reminded of my meal by garlicky burps for roughly 18 hours after the meal. It's worth it, like when you get Indian food.

Itzik, the owner, is always there and makes sure everyone is hustling, but I do have a small bit of advice. I don't think it would kill them to have a modest website with the hours and menu and prices (speaking of, the prices are excellent, like a few bucks for each dish). Maybe a little "About" section that tells the story of how the whole thing got started. Maybe he's just old fashioned. I can respect that.

Happy 5771 everybody!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tweet It, Miami

I still don't really get Twitter as a concept, but I'm trying to be "with it." 

As wise, old Abe Simpson once said, "I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was.  Now what I’m ‘with’ isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you…" 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eat It - Deals Post

I have many, many reviews to post. It's just that I'm such a perfectionist that I don't publish them until they are so funny that I fall out of my chair upon reading them.

Today I am going to share some of my favorite deals. First, I learned recently that McDonald's has 99-cent 6-piece Chicken McNuggets on Mondays now. Amazing. All I need is for them to start a 99-cent Big Mac day, also on Monday, and I can have my "usual" for 2 bucks.

Speaking of bucks, Starbucks (which I've recently heard cleverly nicknamed "Five Bucks") has a breakfast sandwich and coffee deal that rivals Dunkin' Donuts prices. You get a small American coffee (I refuse to use their idiotic terminology, just like when I go to Cold Stone Creamery. We have sizes and language so that we can communicate with one another efficiently. Can you imagine the chaos if every business decided to be so presumptuous as to create their own names for all of the sizes they sell? It's so stupid that I don't want to talk about it anymore.) So, you get a small American coffee and a delicious breakfast sandwich for $3.95. Since the coffee is obviously a bazillion times better at Starbucks than at Dunkin' Donuts, where it often tastes like the pot was brewed 2 weeks ago or diluted with toilet water, this makes for one helluva deal.

Speaking of Dunkin' Donuts, which I like, just not for the coffee, they closed the one on Collins Ave in North Beach for some strange reason, so now the closest one to my office is on 41st Street. Something you may not know about that particular location is that it is kosher. So, you can't get good breakfast sandwiches there because everyone knows that the most delicious food combines meat and dairy. Steak and cheese, ham and cheese, chicken Cordon Bleu, saltimbocca, chicken parm, Hawaiian pizza, Hot Pockets, etc. etc. etc.

My favoritestest deal in town is probably Epicure's Epi-Lunch.  I know it sounds like something you would eat after getting stung by a bee, but Epi-Lunch is available on weekdays from 11am - 2pm, and includes one of their delicious, made-to-order sandwiches along with a side and drink for $9.95. Their sandwiches already cost that much on their own, so add in a side and drink and you're easily at 15 bucks for those 3 components. Plus, you should support local businesses lest everything be undercut by Wal-Mart and that becomes the only place to buy anything.