Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Review

So I started this blog back in July with every intention of dedicating myself to it. Just like tons of other projects I've taken on - couponing, beading, going vegan - this venture fell through the cracks of my short attention span. Although I completely neglected this blog, I remained faithful to my Yelp reviews....and of course, to eating. I am nearing my 200th review! If I blogged as much as I Yelped... You get the point.

My amazing husband got me an iPad 2 for Christmas, so now I have no excuse not to put some love and time into my neglected project. As I sit here playing with my new toy while watching Anthony Bourdain's The Layover: Hong Kong and reading my new favorite blog, I am feeling inspired. And hungry. (And realizing my attention span may be a serious issue, but that's not why we're here) So after reading many articles and lists summarizing the best and worst and other categories of note in the world of food in 2011, I decided to compile my own lists for 2011. For in depth reviews of the places below, please visit my Yelp profile.

Fun Foodie Fests 2011
1. South Beach Wine and Food Fest - the Mecca of foodie-ism. Simply amazing. Hours and hours of fabulous food and drinks with no end in sight... I attended "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: On the Beach" event and the Grand Tasting Village on Sunday. Both events were amazing. This event ruined food Fests for me. Nothing compares and never ever will.
2. Coral Gables Wine & Food Fest - nice selection of food, nice crowd. But again, after SBWFF everything else is just blah.
3. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Wine & Food Festival - I don't even know why I'm adding this to the list. The food was good, the wines were nice, but it was just too packed.

Best Meals in Miami 2011
1. Route 9 - killer brunch. Amazing pastries, good coffee, great service.
2. Sustain- went for brunch and dinner. Both were amazing. They fried chicken with honey is insane, as are their ricotta pancakes. And their mussels. And pretty much everything else we ate.
3. Michael's Genuine Food & Drink - amazing brunch! So much variety and so unique. Loved it.

Best Meals not in Miami 2011
1. Brenda's French Soul Food - San Francisco, CA.
2. SolBar - Calistoga, CA
3. Tapas 24 - Barcelona, Spain.
4. Pinotxo- Barcelona, Spain.
5. Cul De Sac - Rome, Italy

Best of Everything 2011:

Best Breakfast: Brenda's French Soul Food - San Francisco, CA
Best Brunch: SolBar - Calistoga, CA
Best Burger: Mustang Sally @ B&B - Miami, FL
Best Sushi: Sea Siam Connection - Miami, FL
Best Mexican: The Mexzican Food Truck's Legacy Tacos - Miami, FL
Best Pizza: Strong tie between Caffe BaoNecci in San Francisco & Sweet Life in Rome, Italy
Best Seafood: Strong tie between Key Largo Fisheries & Pier Market Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco.
Best Thai: Rock a Bangkok - Miami, FL
Best Pasta: Ricotta Gnocchi Lasagna @ Michy's - Miami, FL
Best Dessert: S'mores @ Market -  St. Helena, CA
Best Bad Indulgence: Los Perros  - Miami, FL
Best Healthy Indulgence: Yogurtland. My favorite mix is red velvet cake yogurt w/ cheesecake chunks.
Best Healthy Alternative to Fast Food: Energy Kitchen -  Pinecrest, FL
Best Beer Joint: strong tie between B&B in Brickell & The Local in Coral Gables.
Best Donut: Bacon Maple Apple donut @ Dynamo Donuts - San Francisco, CA
Best Cupcake: Maple Bacon -  Sweetness Bakeshop, Miami, FL.
Best BBQ: Shiver's BBQ  - Homestead, FL.
Best Food Truck: Dim Ssam a Gogo - Miami, FL

Biggest Disasters 2011:
Worst Meal 2011: Lulu in Coconut Grove, FL - (twice! Now that's sad.)
Worst Service 2011: It's a very strong tie between Mercadito in Midtown and Catch of the Day at Dolphin Mall. I think Mercadito wins, poor hygiene trumps a PMS'ing teenage waitress any day.
Biggest Disappointment: Barton G, Miami Beach. There's nothing worse than overpriced & overhyped bad food.