Over the last week, I enjoyed meals both high end and low, fancy and street food. One meal was literally served and eaten on the street and another was a brunch filled with course after course of Korean-inspired street food, the kind that leaves sriracha-stains on your hands, your shirt, the walls, the ceiling.
Last Thursday, I returned to BLT Steak at the Betsy Hotel and this time I tried something new. I ate my way through the small plates, which goes to show that any place is a tapas restaurant if you wish it. Among other small plates, we had a smooth tuna tartare, I mean silky smooth. It makes your standard sushi-grade ahi look like chicken of the sea. There was the burrata, a popular dish around town that gets taken up a notch with the tang of blood orange. A top notch meal, even without a hint of steak.
Then on Saturday I was off to the debut of the Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink-mobile. I got there at 7pm sharp, afraid that there would be a line like it was 5am at a Walmart in the middle of Ohio on Black Friday before the recession. If you got in my way I would have stomped on you and taken the last Zu Zu pet, don’t get me wrong, but fortunately that wasn’t necessary. No long lines to endure but instead there was a steady flow of eaters stopping by to check out the limited but tasty menu.
First up, a strawberry-basil soda that was intensely strawberry, and in a good way. I’d love to see a bit more carbonation work its way into it in the future, if science allows it. Next up, the “snacks” on the cart: all-star pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s kasha knishes and homemade potato chips. The kasha knish had spinach in there, maybe mushrooms if my tastebuds weren’t deceiving me. Whatever was in the filling was, in fact, filling.
The only option for a “main dish” was the sausage sandwich. Even if there were other items competing for your affection, I’d recommend the sausage sandwich. You really ought to try this sausage sandwich. It had a crispy exterior that gave way to a meaty filling with all of the consistency of chorizo, which to me has a different consistency than a bratwurst or a knockwurst. Chorizo is dense, it has gravitas.
Finally, that buttered popcorn ice cream for dessert. When you taste your first spoonful, you can’t help but crack a smile or laugh. It is a playful dessert. But by the second spoonful it dawns on you: this is really quite good. By the third spoonful: why do I consume popcorn in its traditional form, you ask yourself. Fourth spoonful: I want a pint of this and a matinée screening of Avatar. Fifth spoonful: Screw Avatar, I just want the pint. You get my drift, this stuff is addictive and it’s better than Avatar.
MGFD-mobile is rolling out again on April 10th, if not earlier. Details TBA but keep an eye on their website.
On Sunday, several friends and I gathered for Sakaya Kitchen’s inaugural dim “ssam” brunch, a Korean take on Chinese dim sum. Not only did the menu contain a “best of” from the lunch/dinner selections (the pork and shrimp egg rolls that I wish I could buy in bulk at Costco, the honey orange ribs that fall off the bone as if the meat and the bone were angry at one another, the Korean fried chicken, the steamed pork buns, that kimchee you love so much, and on and on), it also featured some breakfast items (kimchee scrambled eggs, scallion waffle with Korean fried chicken on top) and also some totally new items (bulgogi sliders with blue cheese, a hot dog with scallion kimchi, purple slaw and sesame mustard cream). The whole menu can be found here. I recommend you travel with a posse so you can tear through the whole menu. I spied poor Frodnesor there all by himself but he had a beer and some great food laid out in front of him so I don’t feel any pity.
I’ve spilled lots of ink on this blog about Sakaya Kitchen and how much I enjoy eating there. I don’t want to sound like a broken record so I’ll just say this: go now. If it is midnight and they’re closed, break the glass. Find a way inside and eat a honey orange rib. It will change your life like the first time you read Gabriel Garcia Marquez, like the time you saw American Beauty, like the time you weren’t looking both ways and nearly got run over by a bus. If Eve had been made from this rib, the snake would have eaten her.
It feels like Miami dining aged a lot this week. Given the number of calories I’ve consumed, my doctor will probably tell me I’ve aged a lot too.
(Last Week’s Rankings in Parentheses)
1. NAOE (1)
2. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (2)
3. Red Light (3)
4. Sakaya Kitchen (4)
5. Buena Vista Bistro (5)
↑ 6. BLT Steak (9)
↓ 7. Bin No. 18 (6)
↓ 8. Hiro’s Yakko-San (6)
↓ 9. Eos (8)
10. GastroPod (10)
11. Fratelli Lyon (11)
12. Michy’s (12)
13. Bourbon Steak (13)
14. Pizzavolante (14)
15. Mandolin Aegean Bistro (15)
16. Azul (16)
17. Sra. Martinez (17)
18. Metro Bistro Cafe (18)
19. Latin Burger and Taco Truck (19)
20. Joe’s Stone Crab (20)
On the Bubble: Sardinia.