Friday, April 20, 2012

Read It - Memorial Day Weekend Update

We heard today from a very senior Miami Beach official that the city has come up with some interesting ways to combat the hooliganism and general disorder that is an inevitable part of what is unofficially know has "Urban Beach Week"/"Hip Hop Weekend" in Miami Beach. The weekend and city have been plagued by many of the same problems that events like Atlanta's defunct Freaknik and New York City's Puerto Rican Day Parade have suffered in the past. Those include public intoxication, illegal weapons, sexual assault, and drive-by shootings. Quite obviously, it is a small minority of the party goers who are engaged in this behavior, since, if the hundreds of thousands in attendance all behaved that way, then it would be utter mayhem.

As usual, a few bad apples spoil it for everyone.

Well, after examining the data compiled over the last few years, Miami Beach has gotten smart. It turns out that almost 80% of the arrests are of people who live within driving distance of Miami Beach. Tourists who have flown in and bought hotel rooms are not the stupid thugs who cause the problems. They're also unlikely to have packed handguns for the trip, we'd guess.

So, with the focus on people who are driving in to the Beach, they've come up with some novel solutions for Memorial Day Weekend, including:

- DUI checkpoints on the eastbound (incoming) side of MacArthur Causeway (I-395).
- License plate scanners to determine if visitors are driving stolen or unregistered cars.
- Looped traffic patterns that discourage "cruising."

Sounds like a pretty creative way to get things under control. Let's see how it goes. We're assuming that the goal this year is for no one to get killed. It's a good goal.

A lot of the Miami Beach residents we know leave town for the weekend. If you are sticking around, please be forewarned that the traffic will be extra hellacious. Hopefully it's worth it, and no one gets hurt this year.

Please don't interpret any of this as an indictment of the event or rap culture or anything like that. We love rap. We love hip hop culture. And we love black people more than Jerry Maguire!

With that, we'll leave you with our favorite new song, recently released by a man many love to hate, but whom we love, Kanye West -

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Read It - Bourdain in Eater

Anthony Bourdain has his finger on the pulse of food pretty much worldwide. He's traveled so much and met so many people that he has a really broad base of knowledge of food and culture. He was recently interviewed by Eater, a website that is pretty much everything I wish this were if I had a board of directors and a journalism and web background and lots of seed money, but it's just a hobby, so it's a sloppy blog. Oh well.

He talks about trends in restaurants and the current food and chef culture in a way that I haven't read before, hipsters, snobby food critics' loss of influence, and Marilyn Hagerty's infamous Olive Garden review. Great interview. Read it here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eat It - T-Mex Evolution, 235 14th Street, Miami Beach, FL (305)538-3009

OH MAN, what a crappy name for a restaurant! It used to be called Tacos San Loco or Taco San Loco. I'm not sure which. They actually sound the same when you say them out loud. That was a pretty cool name, but I heard there was a restaurant somewhere else that had the same name and they had to drop it. But guess what! The food didn't get any less awesome with the name change. [Hint: you guys could just change the name again to something way less retarded. Like Loco Taco or Taco Loco or Sobe Tacos. Maybe Sobe is trademarked, but that's not really fair since it's a neighborhood and the company is based in Connecticut. The dude who founded Sobe Beverage went to Tufts, btw. Yeah 'Bos!]

Eat It, Miami contributor and all-around great dude*, Chef BoyarAndy, had never been to T-Mex, and last Friday night, after a few $4 beers at Zeke's, we decided to head there and introduce him.

We each had a Guaco Loco (similar in concept to the old Taco Bell Double Decker Taco), which has a hard corn taco shell surrounded by a soft flour tortilla with guacamole in between, and beef or chicken or tofu or beans, lettuce, cheese and a half slice of tomato on top that is kind of hard to eat but looks cool, and hot sauce. You choose mild, hot, serious, or stupid. If you order mild, the waiter will heckle you, so just order medium or hotter. So, so, so good. It is one of the things you must try in Miami, like the burger at Le Tub.

But there's also something called a Queso Loco, that substitutes cheese for the guacamole sandwiched between the taco shell and the soft tortilla. I'd never had one in all of my twenty or thirty trips to T-Mex. Well, I'm glad that I went for it, because, as my moans of ecstasy revealed, the melted cheesy middle was the most delicious I'd experienced at T-Mex. So get your ass over there and order a Queso Loco and a Guaco Loco.

It's one of the best places for late-night food on South Beach. And if you need a drink, The Deuce is right across the street. And if you get hungry after you go there, you can go to Sandwicherie for yet another bite. And then you can go to Lost Weekend and have another drink and eat at the Alibi sandwich counter inside there if you're still hungry. And so on, and so forth.

*Chef BoyarAndy is known to take a coozie along with him to keep his beer cold and his hand warm and dry. He almost always has an extra one or more for his buddies. Even when one of them lost his favorite Bushwood Country Club coozie at Miami Chophouse once.