Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bonefish Brunch

I can honeslty say I have never had a bad meal at Bonefish Grill. I am an absolute sucker for their deliciously lumpy crab cakes, their tuna tataki (which I would kill for but can't eat now due to my child-bearing condition) and their desserts have always been good to me, especially their creme brulee. Needless to say I was ecstatic to discover a tried and true favorite is now serving my absolute favortie meal ever: brunch! Check out the menu, it is quite enticing.
Hubby and I met with mother-in-law for a quick brunch a couple of weekends ago. They start serving at 11:00am so we arrived right on time to find it was us and 3 other tables. I was so excited about the menu and location that I asked for a manager to inquire on private events (baby shower!) during brunch. More on this later.
We ordered a French press coffee (not pictured, sorry, blame the fetus) which was awesome. Strong, rich, and flavorful it hit the spot.
Mother-in-law ordered the yogurt parfait which came topped with colorful fresh berries and granola. The granola was awesome - cinnamony and spicy, crunchy, sweet, bomb! The berries were fresh and sweet, and the yogurt was perfectly tart.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

The fat girl inside (who's slowly creeping up due to my aforementioned condition) just had to have the chocolate croissant. It was pretty big but so damn delicious it was painful to share this with my husband (thank heavens the MIL isn't into sweets!) The dough was flaky and slightly caramelized, the inside was moist and buttery with rich swirls of chocolate. To die.

Chocolate Croissant

MIL and I ordered the same thing - Skillet Omelet with spinach, gorgonzola (she got Mozzarella) and turkey sausage. This came sizzling hot in a cast iron skillet. The portion is pretty large, we both took 1/2 of it home which was awesome the next day.

Skillet Omelet baked frittata-style in an individual skillet with fresh spinach, gorgonzola and turkey sausage

My health conscious husband got the California Omelet which was my second option so I was happy he likes to share (or doesn't have much of a choice with me as his wife...) It was hearty but tasted healthy and was very filling.
California Applewood bacon, cheddar, caramelized onion, tomatoes, avocado

Lastly I ordered the Creme Brulee French Toast which I enjoyed all. by. my. self. I ate 1/2 and took the rest home to enjoy for breakfast the next day (went awesome with the Skillet Omelet.) The bread was nice and caramelized on the outside but spongy on the inside. The mascarpone whipped cream was insane. The bacon was burnt to an inedible crisp so that sucked. I love bacon, especially dipped in maple syrup, so this was quite the let down.

Créme Brulee French Toast Grand Marnier and orange zest battered, served with mascarpone whipped cream, fresh mint, strawberries and bacon


Overall, the food was awesome (minus the bacon) but Bonefish really needs to put their big girl panties on for their brunch service. The food took forever, there was a mixup with our sides (I got fresh fruit vs. cheesy potatoes which I forgot to photograph and BTW they were awesome!) and it was hard to get someone's attention to get a coffee refill and some brown sugar. Our server, whom we've had before during dinner, was incredibly attentive and apologetic for the inconvenienceas. He was manning the place with 2 others, and despite the emptiness when we arrived it started to fill quickly as the minutes went on. He was all over the place trying to accomodate everyone. Poor guy.

I had asked the manager earlier on about possibly hosting my baby shower during brunch which he quickly declined with a snappy "we're not ready for that" or something to that effect. I was thinking "damn dude, you can't take the challenge?" but then realized having hosted one of the most important days of my life there would've done nothing but give me contractions and hormone induced rage.

Bonefish Grill
12520 SW 120th Street
Kendall, FL 33186
(786) 293-5713

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shake Shack

If there's one thing this pregnancy has made me crave it is burgers. Big, juicy, cheesy, greasy, sloppy burgers. But not just any ol' burger will do. No, no ma'am! I've tried replacement burgers via places located closer to my casa, but nothing convinces this kid. This little fetus is a foodie like it's momma and it knows what it wants, and that, is, SHAKE SHACK!!!

Branded on a table which is made out of an old bowling lane

I first tried Shake Shack at the sweltering hot mess that was the meat saunainferno hell hole The Grind where they took the big prize home. Since that sweaty encounter I have remembered them fondly. The perfectly soft bun, the juicy meat patty, the beautifully melted cheese draped over the meat... drool.

The fries aren't very special since they are good ol' crinkle fries but they are just so good when dipped in their cheese sauce.

The custard is perfection. Thick, creamy, custardy. This time we had the red velvet which was ridiculous.

On our next visit (which has no pictures since hungry pregnant people don't have time for foolishness) we ordered burgers (duh!) and a hot dog which was also pure perfection - thick juicy meaty perfection. The taste of the meat was pure, no funky additives or animal parts suspected. If they are in there, which they may be, they sure hide it well. Thank you. We also had the caramel apple custard which was also pretty damn divine.

I am SO glad that this place is crappy drive away from home. If not, I would be suspect for carrying quads as I would be stuffing myself retarded on a weekly basis. This place is that good. Luckily when I do give into my cravings I feel a tad bit less guilty since Shake Shack's burgers are made of 100% all-natural Angus beef, vegetarian fed, humanely raised and source verified. No hormones or antibiotics. And God knows a preggo does not need additional hormones.

Shake Shack
1450 S Dixie Hwy
Coral Gables, FL 33146
(786) 470-3701

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Because this entry is ridiculously late and because of my mad photog skills, I will keep this entry short and sweet. Pardon the laziness.
When you're newly pregnant and still "in the closet" as my mom called it, it is pretty hard to celebrate your big 3-0 in your former lushy ways without being questioned by your fellow drinking buddies as to why you're not guzzling beers. My birthday conveniently landed on a Monday (the Monday of the devastating Hurricane Isaac fiasco) so my dear husband and I took a rainy drive to SoBe for a quiet dinner. We made an early bird reservation for 7:00pm and we were the only ones in the place for about 5 minutes. This place filled up quick so make a reservation or suffer the consequences. Ambiance is nice - its exactly what you expect, very southern, beautiful tables, farmhouse feel.
The menu boasts "soul nurturing dishes meant for sharing amongst friends" which is exaclty what you get. (Note: these people change their menu with what's in season and what's available at the farm that day. I usually cheat with my reviews but referring back to the menu when I forget an item's description but failed miserably with this since this review is almost 2 months old.) Lots of variety and lots to share. Their drink menu is also extensive, all bourbon mostly, but a nice variety of mixed bourbon drinks. Due to my current "condition" I had the virginal version of the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade which was tart and sweet and super duper refreshing. I will be back for a real one post-baby. 
We ordered a ridiculously good soup - crab and corn chowder I think? Which was amazing. Creamy and rich.  I don't recall what the fritter in the middle is but I remember I loved it and want it now.
Mama’s Chicken Biscuits were the bomb, biscuits were fresh and fluffy and very buttermilky. The fried chicken was fried crisp and was juicy and tender inside. The pepper jelly was a nice boom in your mouth. I now want this too. Damnit.
My husband had the Iceberg Wedge, I hate lettuce but I did try the avocados and house made bacon and it was also very good.
We shared the Short Rib Meatloaf which we found dry and disappointing. I think about it now and scrunch my face and feel like flossing, it was so damn dry. Meat fibers were tough and grainy.
We debated on another dish but decided to "behave" and go straight for dessert. We had the peach cobbler with butter pecan ice cream which was fantastic, along with the chocolate and bacon whoppie pie which was super duper rich, overwhelmingly rich actually, but yummy nontheless. The side of milk it came with was the perfect way to wash it down. That thing was serious.
Peach Cobbler

Food porn at it's finest!
Besides the meat loaf everything was yummy. I will definitely be back. Perhaps for brunch, their menu looks really good.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
1600 Lenox Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 538-5220

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ROK:BRGR South Miami

As I mentioned before, pregnancy has made me fantasize about burgers day in and day out. As much as I try to control my urges in my efforts to stay fit and fab even while requiring a higher daily caloric intake because I am creating human life within me, I sometimes throw in the towel and indulge. My work BFF's, or my Circle, or the "hungry chicks" as I have affectionately referred to them in many of my reviews, have a tradition in which we all take the birthday girl out on their birthday for a dinner after work. Preggo wants burgers? Preggo gets burgers!
ROK:BRGR is a new (was new on my bday, this review is way old) burger spot located in the now defunct Segafredo's spot in SoMi. They offer an extensive craft beer menu (not fun for preggo people who love their beer!) with good happy hour specials which my friends got to enjoy. We went early on a Friday and the crowd was nice, mostly young people getting off work in the area and heading for a drink and a bite.
Since our crew is serious about our eating, we were not shy in ordering. Like always, the waiter made a comment about "a lot of food" which we quickly dismissed. Must people assume that because you don't weight 600lbs you can't do some damage? Damn!
Here's a quick recap of our indulgences:

PRIMO’S MEATBALLS: san marzano marinara, whipped ricotta, fresh basil.
Not our favorite. Meat was bland, gray, and mushy. We joked it was old burger meat... which could've been.

MINI KOBE HOT DOGS: house-made chili, aged vermont cheddar, cilantro sour cream.
Delicious! Nice toasty buns, good weiners, melted cheese and nice meaty chily. Sour cream was a great add in.

LOBSTER CORN DOGS: hand battered, spicy honey mustard.
These were awesome. They were fresh, lobster flavor was on the money, and the sauce was very good.

MAC N’ CHEESE: gruyère & fontina cheese, truffle oil.
Delicious! Very truffly, rich, creamy.

TUNA TACOS: ahi tuna, avocado, seaweed, jalapeno vinaigrette.
These went back to the kitchen - they weren't fresh. The tuna was gray and they tasted very fishy (according to my peeps, I can't eat raw fish for now.)

THREESOME:combination of hand cut, sweet potato & truffle fries.
We all loved these. Especially the truffle fries. Each ketchup is a different flavor which was fun to mix things up. One was chipotle, one was pineapple, and the other escapes my mind right now.

ROK CALAMARI: lightly fried, sweet chili sauce, cherry peppers.
Small portion but good sized pieces with nice sauce. We ordered 2.

BACON JAM: american "kobe", maple bourbon bacon jam, brie cheese.
x3. YUM! Perfect combo of sweet and salty. Meat was seasoned well and cooked perfectly.

Lastly, my birthday cake. This massively ooey-gooey brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, fudge, blueberries and serious fireworks came to the table accompanied by some serious birthday tunes. The brownie was out of control.... crispy edges and decadently moist inside. The ice cream was rich and so good with the warm brownie. 

I heart them all.

Overall the food was really good, the vibe was nice, service was excellent. I had actually forgotten about how much I loved the place until now (that's what I get for being 6 weeks late on a review) so I am planning a return visit very soon.

5800 SW 73rd St
Miami, FL 33143
(305) 663-6099

Rock That Burger

Rock That Burger is owned by the same brothers & sister crew who birthed Yellow Submarine food truck. They have now parked the truck and hung their keys to serve good grub at their brick and mortar location. Sadly and shamefully, I had never had their food until this day. Shameful as I call myself a food truck following foodie. The place is tiny but clean. The walls are sprawled with music posters and a flat screen TV playing UFC (love!) when we went stopped by on a Saturday night. The place was pretty dead though - just us 2 and another table. The girl at the register was super friendly and helpful with the menu.

I went for the Paradise City Dog and husband had the Breakfast Burger. Pregnancy has brought out 2 nasty cravings for me: burgers and hot dogs. FML. As it is, I love me some Colombian hot dogs - which I can guiltlessly devour while inebriated. Pregnancy has made me inhale these things like a drunken pata sucia at Los Perros Aqui at 4am on a Saturday. Anyways, I digress..... My hotdog was pretty damn awesome. Thick juicy all beef hot dog, nice bread, prefect toppings. I like a quail egg on my Colombian Perros but I won't ding them for that since everyone does things differently. Everything on my dog was perfection. Their pineapple sauce had an applesauce consistency which was delish. I wasn't sold on the fries but whatevs - I found them to taste super oily and tasting like pure fryer oil.

Paradise City Hot Dog

My husband's burger was also awesome - bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. Be serious. The patty itself was very well seasoned, which is a rarity these days since most places dump a frozen patty on a griddle and call it a burger. Shame. He ranted and raved about it and he was right, it was really freaking good. Good thing he shares.

Breakfast Burger

This place is a perfect alternative to other Colombian hot dog joints in the area. You will not have to deal with Kendallicious chongivities when you come here. And you can walk a few stores down and reward yourself with a cake pop from Ali's Sweet Treats afterwards just like I did.

Rock That Burger
7138 SW 117 ave
Kendale Lakes, FL 33183
(305) 279-2110

PAO Town

This place is apparently the love child of Canton and Sushi Maki. Seems like the 2 had a drunken tryst of sorts and birthed this little spot serving Asian street food. Being a lover of all things street, food, and Asian, I was sold.


Our first attempt at this place as a total fail. We arrived on a Friday night circa 8:30pm. The place was packed but no line. All tables were full. We asked how long for a table and the girl said "you order your food and then wait." Oh isn't that nice, let me stand around with my pork belly bun in hand waiting for someone to wrap up their meal. We decided to wait for someone to get up before ordering when the manager (?) came up to us to ask how many and then asked a large Asian family (20 or so people... I'm ass for assuming it was his family but from their interaction I don't think I am wrong) to scoot and make room for us in a corner of their table. No thanks. I don't like to eat with strangers, much less on their lap. We left hungry and disappointed.

Next try was that same weekend on Sunday. We were the only people in the place. The place is very cute. It has that industrial warehouse feel.

The menu is small but offers a nice variety of all sorts of yummy Asian street food. After much deliberation (healthy husband and hungry pregnant fat girl inside do not mix well!) We ordered Pork Belly Buns, a Korean Dog, and a Teri Chicken.

The pork belly bun was dry and not bellyish enough. Pork belly is tricky - it's either too fatty or too dry, this was on the dry end which is probably worse than the fatty kind. The seasoning was good and the texture of the bun itself was nice. My favorite pork belly buns have always been from Sakaya Kitchen, so I hold any and all pork belly buns that cross my fat face to a very high standard.


My kimchee dog was OK. The wiener was thick and juicy (hee!) but the toppings were kinda just thrown together sloppily. It mentioned having avocado but it was skimpy on that. The fries on the side were greasy and generic. Taste very much like whatever they were fried in which was not pleasant. A better side for this dish would be some tater tots in sr

My husband's chicken teriyaki dish was "something we could've gotten at Dadeland just walking around the food court." It really was. The rice wasn't anything special, the chicken was average, and the glaze was very "want a sample?" from the food court at any mall.

The manager (different dude) came up to us and gave us a free cookie b/c he remembered us from Fri. This cookie redeemed (well, almost) the meal. The baggie comes with 3 thin, buttery cookies with chocolate chips. The cookie itself is a greasy mess but oh so good! Thankfully my husband hated that too but I hoovered all 3 like it was my job. Overall, PAO Town has potential and I will be giving them another shot in the near future since new places need time to work out their kinks. And because I want more cookies.
2624 Ponce de Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 760-4726