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.