Monday, December 19, 2011

Eat It - Berries in the Grove, 2884 SW 27th Avenue, Miami, FL (305) 448-2111

Last night after doing some shopping at Dadeland Mall, a place that makes me want to kill myself many times over, my girlfriend and I decided to take US-1 back to our place downtown and figure out something for dinner along the way. I kind of wanted to go to Flannigan's since it's quick and cheap, but she didn't because it doesn't exactly serve the most healthful food and she's a health nut.

Back to the shopping topic. I miss the mid-90s when I'd visit Florida from my boarding school and there was lots to do but not the ridiculous amount of traffic and obnoxiousness that abound in 2011. It seems to be getting worse in many regards. I remember even during my college years when Aventura Mall was a pleasant place to visit, and not at all a hassle. I can't really deal with that craziness more than once a year now. I have come to do most shopping on line, a practice I scorned only 2 years ago.

Same goes for going out. I stick mainly to dive bars since night clubs are now totally outrageous rip-off joints designed to host the super wealthy Russian or the moronic 24 year-old who thinks you have to buy bottles to get chicks. Sigh...

So, dinner on Sunday. Since I know that my girlfriend loves Berries, right around the corner from the Flannigan's in the Grove, I asked if she wanted to go there. I'd also never eaten there and wanted to try it. Since Berries is one of her favorite places and she's eaten there a hundred times, she was shocked to learn I'd never been there.

We were immediately greeted by the warm, friendly, and talkative hostess. She also could not believe I'd never been to Berries.

Our waiter must be the best waiter in the entire state. Derrick. Ask for him if you go there. He got us drinks the second we sat down and kept our water glasses full the entire meal. This is a very easy and cheap way to make your customers happy. Please take note, restaurant owners, managers, and waitstaff.

We ordered the pasta special, a delicious ravioli with truffle oil, arugula, and a dollop of ricotta on top. The ricotta provides a refreshing, cool contrast to the hot pasta and sauce. This can be easily done when cooking at home. I highly recommend it. $18 seemed a little pricey for the portion that came out to the table, but it turned out to be plenty of food. They might consider plating it in a bowl rather than a flat plate so it looks like more food.

We also got the Pollo Al Curry (Chicken Curry). That's how it appears on the menu. I wouldn't translate it since, if you live in South Florida and couldn't read that, I don't know how you survive. The Pollo Al Curry is a solid dish. Chunks of white meat in a mild curry sauce with jasmine rice, peppers and a fantastic chutney of apple, pineapple, and mango. That one costs $16.50.

We were surprised to see so many people drinking on a Sunday night. There were chicks doing shots at the bar! That sh*t cray. Maybe it was in honor of the Heat's drubbing of Orlando. Anyhoo, since we didn't drink alcohol, we got out of there for about $50 all in. Pretty good meal in a lovely atmosphere. The restaurant has mostly outdoor seating and has surprisingly little noise considering it's located on SW27th Street, a main route to the center of Coconut Grove. But you probably know all of this since you've been there before.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do It - Art Basel, Miami, Not Basel, Switzerland

So, we're bougie and get tickets to Vernissage, along with the other 15,000 super VIP Miami residents who attend the annual sneak peak at Art Basel, the world's largest contemporary art fair.

If you're in the market for a large canvas covered in pencil scribbles or maybe a bunch of photos of homeless people's butt cracks scattered on the floor and covered in agave nectar, and you have a gazillion dollars or so to drop on one of those masterpieces, then Art Basel is your man, er, place.

I actually love most of the contemporary crap, but it doesn't mean I won't make fun of it.

This isn't a restaurant review, but we've gone over how you can go start your own blog if you don't like what we put here. Please don't though. There's already too much competition for everyone's precious, precious free time, and I don't need my readers to be distracted by some new hip thing you start. Good, it's settled.

Things we noticed at Art Basel this year -

They seem to be much stricter about the capacity, about half an hour into the event, since they were allowing people to enter only when some had left, kind of like we were waiting to get into Buck 15 on a busy night. An aggressive mom tried running us over with her baby's stroller.

Woh! So many people with facelifts. Like at least 50.

Christian Slater.

After spotting him, we heard several couples chatting about how they'd seen Christian Slater. We wondered if maybe he was flattered to still be noticed, since all he does these days is those Autotrader commercial voiceovers. That's Christian Slater?! Sure is.

We were noticing that one small gallery booth seemed to have something in the neighborhood of $100 million in art, having among their pieces several Picassos, Miros and Matisses. That led us to wonder how much all of the art in just the convention center must be worth. It's gotta be billions of dollars. How does one insure all of that? Surely, a catastrophic fire would cause irreparable financial harm as well as cause great losses to the art world and humanity at large. We are reminded year after year when Art Basel comes around that art is the most important thing in the world.

So, as pretentious as everyone acts at the events and how bad the traffic is, it's all worth it. You should go.

*Please go buy something from my cousin, Lowell Boyers. His stuff is totally awesome. He's exhibiting at Pulse in Wynwood's Ice Palace.

Also, I thought this was a nice message -