Friday, November 22, 2013

Yummy Technology

So, it's pretty obvious that we're in the midst of a technological revolution that's spiraling upwards into a bizarre world in which pretty much anything you can imagine will be possible. You're going to be able to take a virtual vacation like Arnold did in Total Recall, but hopefully they'll work out the kinks lest you be lobotomized.

And sooner even than that, you're going to be able to taste food through electrodes placed on your tongue. You could actually try the food at a new restaurant before setting foot in it. And you will be able to make broccoli and Brussels sprouts taste like chocolate cake (though I'd take the former two veggies over the latter dessert).

http://theweek.com/article/index/253227/this-electric-lollipop-can-simulate-any-taste

Thursday, November 21, 2013

McDonald's Switching to Catsup

If you have had the misfortune of consuming Hunt's Catsup, then you know how bad squished up tomatoes and vinegar can taste when not prepared at the Heinz factory. Well, now that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Brazil's 3G Capital have bought Heinz, Mickey D.'s is removing Heinz from its condiment buckets. Could it have to do with the fact that 3G owns Burger King..? Haaaaaateeeeers!

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Good to Be the King

Ironically, just as the weather cools down, the Heat are getting warmed up. Meh, not my best work. Not even Big Papi bats .1000!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Who Says We're Done as a Great Nation?! Take That, China!


AVENTURA MALL AIMS TO BREAK GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR LARGEST CHOCOLATE MOUSSE DURING ITS ANNUAL CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL

AVENTURA, Fla. – (Sept. 30, 2013) – Aventura Mall, Miami’s premier shopping destination, announces plans to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Chocolate Mousse at its annual Chocolate Festival on Sunday, Oct. 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 Executive Chefs Rick Chiavari from Turnberry Ocean Colony and Danny Malone from Turnberry Isle Miami will lead the effort of beating the current 313 pound world record, while raising funds to benefit the Children’s Craniofacial Association, a national non-profit organization that addresses the medical, financial, emotional, and educational concerns of children craniofacial conditions.


Aventura Mall shoppers will have the opportunity to witness the record-breaking attempt and also taste the colossal dessert once it’s complete. Plus throughout the day, visitors will be delighted by elaborate chocolate displays and sweet treats from some of South Florida's most popular restaurants and chocolatiers. A special kids chocolate station, exciting raffle prizes and more surprises will provide entertainment for the entire family.
Visitors can tantalize their taste buds and help raise money for the Children’s Craniofacial Association by purchasing tickets at the event ($1 each ticket or $10 for 13 tickets) and exchanging them for treats.
Chocolate Festival participants include BC Café/Tacos, Churro Mania, Clarabelles, Crepemaker, Dolce Peccati, Fireman Derricks Pies, Florida International University, Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute, Mariners Sand Country Club, Munchcakes, P.A.C Pastries (Vegan, Gluten-free), Porto Vita, Sugar Yummy Momma, Sweet Tooth, The Daily Melt, Turnberry Isle Miami, Turnberry Ocean Colony, Veggie Express (Vegan), Color Me Mine/Alisa's Painted Bistro, and Trazos Academy.
Chocolate Festival is sponsored by Ann and Ari Deshe Foundation, BC Café, Gym Kidz, Hercules, Mark Gordon Foundation, Michael Klein Foundation and New York Bakeries.
For more information, visit www.aventuramall.com/chocolate-festival or call (305) 935-1110.

About Aventura Mall
MIAMI'S LARGEST SUPER REGIONAL MALL

Miami's #1 shopping destination among locals and international visitors, Aventura Mall ranks as one of the top five highest grossing malls in the country in sales per square foot.  Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s, Aventura Mall boasts 300 specialty stores, ranging from chic, internationally renowned names such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Emilio Pucci, Herve Leger, Burberry, Montblanc, Faconnable, Henri Bendel, Ulysse Nardin, Michael Kors, Breitling and Hugo Boss to many of the most popular and recognized retailers, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, Calvin Klein, Forever XXI, True Religion and Diesel. Aventura Mall is also home to 10 full-service restaurants and an exclusive contemporary art collection featuring 10 installations positioned throughout the shopping center. 

Located at 19501 Biscayne Boulevard, the mall is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., andSunday, Noon to 8 p.m. For more information call (305) 935-1110, visit online at www.aventuramall.com.   Aventura Mall is owned and managed by Turnberry Associates. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Don't Dew It

Apparently Mountain Dew is the drink of choice in the sprawling mountain region of Appalachia. And it shows! Read all about it here. And try not to drink so much soda, people.

Monday, August 26, 2013

You Learn Something New Every Day...

Turns out you're not supposed to wash raw chicken in the sink before cooking it. Which makes a lot of sense. Let's watch!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eat It - Blue Collar, 6730 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL (305) 756-0366

by Chef BoyarAndy


It is 5:45pm on a rainy Sunday evening in June in the middle of the Biscayne corridor.  

It is too early for most Miami diners...the rain tends to keep people at home...most people dine out on Friday or Saturday night...late June is definitely low season for tourists and seasonal residents...the location isn't a hot spot for dining options.

So why in the world, when we pulled into the parking lot for our double date, and when they open at 6:00pm, 15 minutes early (my better half and I are the only two people in Miami who are early for anything...we thought) were there 15 people already waiting for the place to open? That number becomes even more impressive when you consider there are only about 25 seats inside, if memory serves.

Everyone tells me Blue Collar is good, but is it THAT good?

The answer is a loud and confident YES.

That answer was never really in question...I only needed to find out how good for myself. Our dining partners, and their beautiful little sweetie that joined us, are regulars there. He owns a food truck and just opened his own cafe in Davie (reviews coming!) so obviously they know good food when they taste it.

The menu covers all bases: creative appetizers, an impressive list of the day's fresh vegetables, relatively simple sandwiches, pasta and meaty entrees.  

The amazing part is how literally everything on the menu is really well done.  We ordered a total of 11 items among the 4 and a half of us: Mac and Cheese, Shrimp & Grits, Duck McMuffin, Vaca Frita Tostones, Cuban Spring Rolls, The Big Ragout, Jambalaya, Hanger Steak, Mahi, Bread Pudding and Key Lime Pie.

Clearly you are thinking two things: First...you guys really know how to order. Second...you guys eat way too much. You're correct on both counts.

Looking back on some of my favorite meals at my favorite restaurants it is not uncommon to remember there being a dish or two that I didn't care for. I'm still kind of in shock at how Blue Collar managed to go 11 for 11. I'd actually argue that they went 13 for 11 as The Big Ragout and Vaca Frita Tostones were so good they should count twice. I'm excited to go back and try a few more items from the menu...I'm talking to you "Corben."

Considering that we arrived to find over half of their capacity waiting for them to open, friends that are in the business are repeat patrons and they literally do everything well. I'd say Daniel Serfer (@bluecollarmiami), the chef/owner, has a real hit on his hands.

Editor's Note: Since Chef BoyarAndy has once again beaten me to the punch and sent in his review of a restaurant I was slacking on reviewing, I'd like to point out the following:

The waitstaff wears tuxedo t-shirts!

My wife and I went there for brunch. She had the special Trio of French Toast, that, given, was enormous, but at $25 was a rip-off. And the waiter should have known better than to recommend it for a woman who weighs 108 lbs.

My special Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict was $16. A fair price for a truly decadent dish. It's a stretch to call it Eggs Benedict since it's not Eggs Benedict. Has nothing to do with Eggs Benedict other than that it has a base of bread (cornbread in this case) a meat (pulled pork) and poached eggs with Hollaindaise Sauce on it. That's like saying Domino's Oreo Cookie Pizza is pizza. It's shaped like it and has some relevance but it's not even the same food category. Though the word "pizza" just means pie in Italian so what I'm saying makes no sense at all as an argument. Withdrawn.

You can put a fried egg (or poached if you are so inclined, here's a simple method courtesy of Alton Brown) on virtually any savory food and it makes it better. Adds creamy, zesty sauce to anything. Pork, beans and rice, tacos, etc.

One last thing: I was both impressed and offended when I asked if we "can just sit outside," to which the host/manager/Serfer? replied "you may." I'M the guy who says "may I." I was just dumbing it down for the people! I suppose I should have known that English would be well-spoken in the land of the hipster, up there on Biscayne Blvd...

Blue Collar Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gross

If you ever wondered how they could to offer an all-you-can-eat buffet for $8-10, this may have something to do with it. Of course it's located in Florida! We have a way of making national news 'round these parts. Yeeha!

[I had to delete the video since it was playing automatically and ruining the blog reading experience, but you may find it here.]

In fairness, this is an article that contains the company's response to the video.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Whip It Good

I've gotten spoiled by our new Nespresso machine and was craving some foamy milk for my coffee today at work. I figured there'd be a tip on the ol' Internet to make foamed milk without a machine that's specially designed for the task. Well, it's kind of obvious, but an effective technique is to vigorously shake some milk up in a jar and then heat it up in the microwave. The issue is that this works extremely well and you need a good amount of room left in the jar before warming since it gets very foamy and voluminous and can easily bubble over. Once the milk is warmed, you need to spoon to foam out. Otherwise it just stays in the jar when you pour your milk into your coffee.

Enjoy!

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-milk-foam-without-100716

Monday, June 3, 2013

LET'S. GO. HEAT.

A Sad Day (Ein Trauriger Tag)

Back in 2007, we told you about a gloriously long, German word, while reviewing Lincoln Rd's Hofbrau Haus -
http://www.eatitmiami.com/2007/04/eat-it-hofbrau-haus-lincoln-road-south.html

But my friend, Andreas Roman Heiss, who knows his German sh*t, just emailed me this devastasting news -


Germany's longest word - Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz - a 63-letter long title of a law regulating the testing of beef, has officially ceased to exist.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't Eat It - Sir Pizza, 4231 S Le Jeune Rd, Coral Gables, FL (305) 448-4040

by Chef BoyarAndy

http://sirpizzarestaurants.com

Pizza is a commodity. From where I'm sitting typing this on my couch I can name 6 pizza places that deliver to my house and another 4 that are dine in/carry out only...I bet there are another 3 or 4 that I don't even know about.


As somebody that sells a commodity for a living I can tell you that you have exactly 3 ways to differentiate yourself from the competition: price, service and quality. Sir Pizza failed at all 3 for me this weekend.

I was exposed to Sir Pizza by a colleague when they opened their location in Kendall. Think of something somewhere between Papa Johns and Harry's Pizzeria....it's not gourmet but it certainly isn't Little Caesars either.

After tax, delivery charge and tip I dropped $27 on a large "Royal Feast" pizza. Failure on price compared to just about anywhere else. (I probably shouldn't complain about the price since I chose to pay it but it does seem high to me)

"Thank you for ordering online from Sir Pizza - Coral Gables. It’s our pleasure to serve you. Your order has been received, and will be ready in approximately 40 minutes. Please contact your neighborhood Sir Pizza - Coral Gables at (305) 448-4040 for further assistance."

That is the email I received after placing my order at 7:06pm Sunday night.

8:00pm rolls around and we're still waiting (relatively) patiently for our pizza. When I called for further assistance a nice, younger sounding lady answered the phone and apologized for the delay telling me the driver only had 1 other delivery and that her "system" showed the pizza as being 4 minutes away so that if it didn't arrive shortly to call back. I chose not to complicate the conversation by asking what kind of GPS tracking device they used to offer such a specific answer and hung up satisfied that we'd be eating soon.

When I called back at 8:15pm I was told this: "Look dude, I don't know what to tell you. I'm trying to help other people. It left here like 20 minutes ago so if it isn't there in another 20 call back."

Somewhat shocked at the bluntness of his reply I asked his name...he wouldn't give it and hung up.

Failure on service.

At 8:30pm when the pizza finally arrived we discovered it was barely warm and they had ignored our request to substitute tomatoes for mushrooms.  Failure on quality.

The company has clearly experienced some degree of success as of late...a 10 year agreement for Marlins Park, 10 new locations in the past year or so and a high exposure sponsorship with the Hurricanes.

As is generally the case...success comes at a price.  Sadly that price is the experience they are providing to the individual customer.

Sir Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chewing Gum Tax

I tried for a while to come up with a clever title, like "Chewing the Fat" or "Chew on This" or something chewing related. I got nothing. I give up. So I'm just calling this "Chewing Gum Tax." Intrigued?

Mexico City is considering a tax on chewing gum, or "chicle," as they call it, to help defray the hefty costs associated with its cleanup. You ever notice all of the small circular black spots on the pavement as you walk down a sidewalk? Gum.

http://www.theworld.org/2013/03/mexico-chewing-gum-tax/

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bleh

Well, you know you're becoming a world class city (or approaching another real estate top) when "starchitects" like Zaha Hadid are designing buildings in your hood. The best part is that the people who get to the top of that profession, much like many other artistic fields, get to keep all of the money while the underlings do all of the work and get paid peanuts while wallowing in obscurity. Kind of like celebrity chefs who spend most of their time talking about food, and not actually making it. It's really like this episode of the Simpsons.

If you don't believe them or me, and the Simpsons would never lie, please check out this sketch she did for a museum she designed.

Here are some renderings
of her new downtown Miami "One Thousand Museum Tower," courtesy of Curbed, a hideous building that, at best, belongs somewhere in a tacky Middle Eastern city like Dubai, and, at worst, should be built only in CGI for the next Star Trek movie as a hospital for Vulcans. I don't think it does a thing for our skyline alongside beauties like Chad Oppenheim's 10 Museum Park. Now that is a sight, and it has sexy showers right in the middle of the units.

I could swear I was going somewhere with this. Doesn't have much to do with food, but it's about Miami.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Ultra Weekend #1!


I'm pretty excited to have to deal with the suffocating traffic this event causes in my neighborhood. Times 2 weekends! Hooray!

Prince Buys Tortillas

Not much explanation is necessary beyond that title. Thanks to my pal, Tim Shea, for opening my eyes to this - 

http://storiesaboutprince.blogspot.com/2012/12/prince-buys-tortillas.html

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Softball Hero

One of my softball teammates invited Chad Johnson to come and play on our team over Twitter, and lo and behold, he showed. You gotta love the love he shows his fans. This one is last night's MVP, Jaime, who won the game with a walk-off triple.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Eat It - Dos Caminos, 1140 Seabreeze Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL (954) 727-7090

www.doscaminos.com

I hope it's still there. Have you heard about Ocean Blvd's being washed away by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy? That sh#t cray. Our entire South Florida economy is pretty much based on beachfront property, so before you get all whiny about having to subsidize other people's property and flood insurance, keep in mind that no one would live here and have cool stuff to experience like concerts, nice restaurants, and LeBron James, if not for the coastal property that's so precariously located within the inevitably likely path of a hurricane or storm surge. If it can happen to New York City, it can damn sure happen here, and it has and it will in the future. In the meantime, try not to let that thought stress you out.

Speaking of New York City, Dos Caminos is a chain of Mexican restaurants that began there and lands somewhere in between your usual local Tex-Mex place and the high-end upscale Mexican places like Rosa Mexicano and Maya (NYC). Dos Caminos is an extremely high quality product for the money, and it's worth the drive up to Broward (or will it be Ft. Lauderdale..?) County.

I attended a media event at the Ft. Lauderdale location back in September, and shame on me, it's taken this long to get my post polished and posted. It's a delicate art, and sometimes art just can't be rushed. It's really because I try to do too much with the 24 hours I'm given each day, so I have lists of perpetually pending items that I manage to cross off eventually, but often quite tardily. Boo hoo.

Dos Caminos is located inside the Sheraton Hotel. Pretty standard restaurant location, in a beautiful area called Harbour Isles of Ft. Lauderdale. The decor is homey. It's got just the right amount of lighting that you can see the food you're eating, but it's dark enough that your date will look his or her best. Take a look and you'll see the Mexican inspired interior, with dark pinks and skulls on the walls.

Executive chef, Ivy Stark, was in town for the introduction of Dos Caminos' new menu and was kind enough to present us food writers in attendance with a copy of her new book, which you should really check out. It's called Dos Caminos Mexican Street Food and I've used it several times. It was also a great resource for choosing the dinner menu at my upcoming wedding in Mexico. It's like authentic Mexican street food, but without the Montezuma's Revenge! In case you don't know what Montezuma's Revenge is, it's what happens when you eat food in Mexico because your ancestors were Europeans and are therefore guilty by association with the colonists who invaded Mexico and killed everyone. Montezuma (II) was the Aztec emperor at the time, and now he haunts the bowels of anyone who eats anything even remotely suspect. If you've never had explosive Mexican diarrhea, well, let me tell you, you just haven't lived to appreciate the pleasure that it is not to have Montezuma's Revenge once it's over (usually lasts about a week).

Now, you're probably not crazy about the fact that I mentioned explosive diarrhea in a restaurant review, and neither are the people who operate Dos Caminos, but that's just what you get when you hop in bed with Eat It, Miami. The irreverence is our signature! It's our hallmark! Our touchstone! Along with impeccable grammar and its accompanying lessons, of course! Isn't it interesting that hallmark and touchstone have synonymous figurative meanings but also quite closely related literal meanings? Fascinating. English is such a rich language.

Back to the diarrhea! You won't get it if you eat at Dos Caminos, I bet! I highly recommend the place. They have great staples like chicken flautas, excellent guacamole, cheery service, and great decor.

If you work nearby, they have a an affordable happy hour menu with $4.50 margaritas and $3 tacos. The happy hour guac only costs 8 bucks (usual 2 person order is 14).

Cool.

Dos Caminos on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Eff Yelp

Yet another reason to trust our sassy site is that we are clearly not in it for the money, since I seem to have a talent for liking things that are not profitable. I tend to partake in activities for their own sake. Like my podcast! Or playing squash. Or designing t-shirts. I kind of have the art part down without any of the business savvy. No complaints or whining. Just sayin' is all.

When I have a personal connection to a restaurant I usually refrain from reviewing it myself, as I did when Chef BoyarAndy reviewed Pride and Joy BBQ. I know one of the partners' sisters and I would probably have mentioned that had I been the guy to write the review. So, that's where we're coming from at Eat It, Miami.


In case you were running low on cynicism today, I'd like to point you in the direction of a couple of scathing articles that shed light on the shady sh*t going on at Yelp. I feel like their name should be "Yelp!" Don't you think? These articles were posted by that friend who's connected to Pride and Joy BBQ.

From Forbes -

When I notified County Process Service that I had posted a good review (my first on Yelp), they replied: “We’ll see if yelp filters the review. All of our good reviews get filtered. I’m not sure why yelp thinks our good reviews are fraudulent.”


When I checked a week later, Lo and Behold! My review had been removed. Did Yelp tell me about it? Not one word!

My wife, a Realtor, had a similar experience: “They seem be wary of first-time reviewers. If your first review is negative then they let you post other reviews, but if your first review is positive then they remove it. The same goes if all your reviews are positive.”


She went on: “I called Yelp after a business associate posted a positive review about me which was later removed. They hinted that if I advertised on Yelp this may not have occurred.”

And from East Bay Express (totally gnarly Silicon Valley site, dude, so they like know tech and stuff hella stoked fer sure) -

"Hi, this is Mike from Yelp," the voice would say. "You've had three hundred visitors to your site this month. You've had a really good response. But you have a few bad ones at the top. I could do something about those."

So here's what I propose, since I am a strong advocate of Gandhi's "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Like, if you hate when people drive recklessly, drive cautiously. You hate litter? Don't litter and pick up trash when you see it. Easy enough? If we all do that, we will have a better world. So, you don't think Yelp's bullsh*t is fair? Don't use Yelp. Don't post reviews and don't check it for suggestions.

I pledge today that I will never use Yelp ever again, and if you know me personally, you know I mean it when I say/write sh*t like that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ciao, Fabio!

We're very excited about starting off the big day at Sobe WFF, next Saturday, with the same event we attended last year, a cooking class run by Chef Fabio Viviani and sponsored by Bertolli. He taught us a simple fresh pasta recipe that I've used several times since and also several tips on properly using the various types of olive oil. Most important tip: don't cook with extra virgin olive oil as your fat. It burns too quickly. Use it as an ingredient or as a dressing, but not in the bottom of a pan that you're using to cook. That stuff will smoke its ass off and you'll have to open all of the windows in your house.

This year: gnocchi. Can't wait.

Dude is very funny and entertaining. He was on Top Chef and even had his own show for a bit. I think they should give him another shot. In the meantime, take a look at his website.

If I were single, I would want to hang out with this guy. The chicks love him.





That's Chef BoyarAndy and I on the Left

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mmmm, hyperbole...

This doesn't have anything to do with food or Miami or restaurants. Not that I can remember anyway. I host a podcast with my college roommate and we had a special guest on our most recent episode. Hint: he works at the White House and he was named one of People's "most beautiful people" one time. I think.

http://www.nohyperboleallowed.com/2013/01/podcast-no-hyperbole-allowed-episode-22.html

Monday, January 7, 2013