Eat Local Miami 

 
 
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Hey Everyone,  


Thanks for all the support and constant emails! I love them but Eatlocalmiami.com is up for sale!!!


I live in California now and will be starting the Eat Local Fabulousness over here... 
If you know anyone who wants to take the name or the complete site over, tell them to drop me a line via email...


Keep Eating Local and being fabulous! 


-Monica

 
 
3458 Southwest 8th Street
Miami, FL 33135-4108



Over the weekend my friend Wendy took me to the yummiest Vietnamese restaurant ever!

Besides the delicious freshly squeezed lemonade I had, Hy Vong has a full selection of Vietnamese dishes (rice, noodles, salads, etc). We started with the most crisp and delish spring rolls you'll ever have... Anything but bland, you dip this likeable hand held treat directly into a sauce consisting of fish sauce, sweet vinegar and hot chilies...Definitely order some if you go.

While I was impressed by the rolls, I was also equally impressed by the super high level of service. It’s something you might expect at a nice hotel, but not a Vietnamese restaurant let alone at ground zero of Calle Ocho!

This gem of a "hole-in-the -wall" restaurant serves "classic" Vietnamese food like Pho, the salubrious national soup dish, chock full of any kind of meat your heart desires. Rare beef is king here, as are navel, stomach, brisket and sweet slices of smoked then grilled barbequed pork.

I ordered curry chicken with sweet potatoes and my friend made out like a bandit with this uber delicious pastry wrapped chicken. My God it was sooooo good!
All the dishes are served with passion as this is a family operation. They are especially known for their spicy preparations, such as their beef sate. I am a fanatic for this combination of crispy cooked beef (nice and fatty: read tasty) onions, sate sauce and hot chili peppers.

This little spot gets packed and it can take a bit long to get your food but trust me its worth the wait!

 
 
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I've begun a new hobby.. veggie gardening.
 
I've tried to grow things before but it would just die. This time however, I'm making sure it thrives!

It all started from a little basil plant I purchased one day. The moment I used its fresh leaves for a recipe I was hooked! The taste was amazing. There is just nothing better than fresh, local stuff!
 
Buying the wood and dirt was the easy part especially since I had my boyfriend make the bed for me! It was actually quite easy and cheap. Those pre-made beds can be a bit too expensive... make it a project and you'll save tons of money and have fun doing it!

Just take a look at mine... The only hard part was choosing what to grow!

After much hard work... we finally got it up and ready... i planted onions, peppers, tomatoes, oregano, mint, rosemary... I'm so happy! If you want to see the construction of the bed, just let me know I have tons of pics!

If you need some advice or help in making a bed of your own, let me know! George can make one for you too! I'm all for helping you get the best eats-- even if its from your own backyard!
 
 
This past weekend I hit up Pinecrest's market and I think I could not have made a better decision. It was worth not sleeping in.

So much to eat and so little time...

Having gone with my sister, we split up and bought a whole mess of different goodies. A couple of conch fritters and two nectarines later, we were ready for you guessed it: lunch!

We had some amazing Mexican food(by the way they cater)... check them out!

Flowers, sweets, crepes and tons of fruits and veggies!!!

Take a look at the pics and come with me this weekend if you can!

 
 
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1450 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

What is one to do when its 4am and you just can't stand the idea of having to go to another Denny's. Yuck. No, you want something fresh, something different or maybe just a lot of different.

Possibly having the extensive and most varied menu many have ever seen, Jerry’s is a local favorite hotspot for all socialites and nightlife lovers. There is possibly nothing that isn’t on Jerry’s menu. You can eat pizza, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, desserts, pancakes, and milkshakes, all in one place. Its look is reminiscent of the 1950s era, where rollerblading women would come grab your order as you waited in the car. Although not so convenient, Jerry’s is literally just steps or a cab ride away from satisfying various cravings for all your friends.  Its in-store dining 24 – hours a day, takeout, and rapidly growing delivery and catering services, Jerry’s Famous Deli is maintaining a high profile.

But be warned-- Jerry's is most definitely not cheap. It can be quite ridiculous if you ask me. A $17 dollar pastrami sandwich... I don't think so. But if you stick to breakfast, the prices are cheap and the food is fabulous. Try the cream cheese, chive and spinach scramble-- yum-yum!

The next time you think you have no choice but IHOP or Dennys, don't despair, treat yourself... take out a few bucks and splurge on deliciousness.
 
 
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7501 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33138


Having come back from a month in California, I was a bit sad to leave all the deliciously fabulous Mexican joints behind. But there is nothing to fear after this weekend’s brush with pure yumminess right here in the 305. And I’m not talking about Fresh Mex, or Tex Mex, I’m not even asking you to think outside the bun. When you’ve hit the crappy Mexican food wall in Miami, don’t lose faith just come to Verdaddy’s.

It may not be authentic. It may not even look like a Mexican restaurant having been at one point a KFC, but this place is one thing for sure: tasty.

The interior of Verdaddy’s is incredibly void of any décor, in fact other than the menu board and the special; hand drawn on paper an taped to the wall, I don’t recall any specific details of the dining room at all. Amidst the old school hip-hop blaring on the radio, the friendly staff made up of the owner and his down-to-earth crew, the food is something I do recall—vividly.

The food at Verdaddy’s is where its at. For this review, I ordered a few of the different specialties that they prepare. My favorite item on the menu is the Fish Tacos.  Starting with their house made tortillas, they are over-stuffed with crispy golden brown pieces of deep fried fish, lettuce, pico de gallo, and their creamy rich white sauce. It’s served with a couple of lemon wedges and a squeeze bottle of the red or green sauce. Be prepared to drip this all over your shirt as it is so wonderfully indulgent you won’t even bother to stop and clean up ‘til it’s gone. The combination of flavors and texture in this taco will have you wanting for more.

And the chicken quesadilla is over the top. What could be more perfect than hunks of pure white meat; nestled in two house made tortillas and stuffed with the classic taco fillings of shredded lettuce and pico de gallo? I don’t know either.

If you’re finally done with Taco Bell (I pray you are) and ready for something fast, delicious and filling, come to Verdaddy’s for some fabulous eats. And if you want my advice: come alone so you don’t have to share!
 
 
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8376 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33155-3355

The first time you enter Kon Chau, you might wonder why in the world I would want you to come. The answer is that despite this place’s grim appearance, its Dim Sum is to die for!  The rickety chairs, the fish tank with only one grey fish in it, and the 3 little toy vending machines make it look cheap. But contrary to appearances, Kon Chau is not to be discarded. Rather, it is an opportunity to move past the appearance and eat some really good and fresh food.  


The format here is different from most dim sum houses. Unlike most dim sum, which is served only for brunch and usually only on weekends, Kon Chau serves it all day, every day. And rather than choosing small dishes from carts as they go by, here customers order from a paper list. It's dim sum, fast-food style. But while the Dim Sum format is fast and certainly convenient, the quality of the food here far exceeds any fast food I've ever encountered

In fact, Kon Chau  is not just a restaurant that serves good dim sum quickly; it serves great dim sum. The dumplings here are sturdy and tender – not chewy – with clean, fresh flavors. You can taste the morsels of shrimp in the Har Gao (shrimp dumplings, $3) and the ground pork and mushrooms inside the Siu Mai (pork dumplings, $2.50). I drool just thinking about the leek dumplins, $3), a sumpling stuffes with leek and garlic enough to make me weep with joy…God, I love food!

Though the menu here is more limited than a traditional dim sum house, Kon Chau offers most of the popular kinds. And while the fast-food format takes some mental adjustment, I love the fact that dim sum can now be found in Miami outside of weekends and brunch hours. The genial staff of bussers and cashiers is patient and helpful. Everyone whom I have sent to dine there comes out excited about the fresh and fab dim sum.  Don’t fall victim to Miami’s must be flashy-- so it must be good culture… Kon Chau may not be flashy, but it’s fabulously tasty.

 
 
 
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1311 S Dixie Hwy
Miami, FL 33156

If you’re one of those people who rush to IHOP for good pancakes, I pity you , my friend.

You need to get your butt to Wagon'sWest for the real thing. Fluffy pancakes made to order and with just about any toppings you desire.

I’ve been tying to get to Wagons West for a few weekends now, but its always jammed packed. Luckily, I was able to pop in and grab a spot at the counter on Sunday.

Take note-- once your foot is in the door, you might not remember you’re in Miami. This place is straight country. Anything that would make you think of the wild west can be found here, even a Skoal ad hanging on the wall.One look around and you know you’re in a down-to earth -feel-good-gimme breakfast now -kinda place and I'm not talking about Cafe con Leche. I'm talking pancakes, french toast, and grits!

I had the banana and chocolate chip pancakes with some eggs and toast. Delicious! I also couldn't help looking over to my neighbor’s plate of french toast-- a pity he ate it all... I probably would have sneaked in a few bites...

The coffee was delish, the waitresses are super friendly and everyone is smiling and just getting their morning mojo going with the great food. The prices are great too.  My hearty dining companion and I had quite the feast for under $20.00! You can’t beat that! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, toast.... cha-ching!


This tiny eatery has a row of booths and plenty of counter space so take a seat and enjoy the  grub! Call me if you go.. I absolutely LOOOVVVEEE breakfast and now, Wagons West!
 
 
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Being a fabulous foodie, I just had to become a member of Slow Food USA and better yet, of our local chapter, Slow Food Miami!
 
Slow Food Miami is part of the an international organization, Slow Food, which advocates for the celebration and preservation of local and sustainable food traditions, community and culture. Headed by Donna Reno, The group promotes sustainable food practices and organizes leisurely meals to support local farmers and remind people of the joy of eating fresh, local and "real" meals.
 
To make things even better, the yearly fee has been waived for the month of September. You can now join for as little or as much as you can give! Any donation will ensure your membership to one of the coolest organizations around!
 
And now, with their Time for Lunch campaign, Slow Food is putting pressure on decision-makers to change national food policies and practices to make it easier for our children to eat healthy, tasty food.
 
Be a fabulous foodie too.. Join!

For more info visit: Slow Food Miami

 

I can't wait to see you all participating in Slow Food Miami's events. There's so much to do!
 
 
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It seems that hardly a month goes by without a story about American food shoppers falling prey to another nasty pathogen lurking in the local supermarket. Several well-publicized outbreaks of food-related illness have created a rare political alignment. Angry consumers and a food industry haunted by the double specter of bad publicity and lawsuits both appear ready to embrace actions by the federal government to make the U.S. food supply safer, and the federal government has begun to take some of those steps.

In March, President Barack Obama announced the formation of a Food Safety Working Group to develop proposals for upgrading federal food safety laws and improving coordination among at least a dozen federal entities that share responsibility for the safety of the nation’s food supply. Some of the working group’s recommendations already are being put into effect.

Meanwhile, legislation has been introduced in Congress that would dramatically increase the oversight power of the Food and Drug Administration over much of the food sold in the United States, including imports.It appears certain that the legal framework for regulating food safety in the United States is going to change, and lawyers—especially those who represent companies in the food industry—are going to have to hustle to keep up.

What sorts of changes are likely and how effective they will be is currently being debated.While some see a consensus around the need for sweeping reform, others are concerned that proposals in the works are over-broad and will be detrimental to organic farmers and small producers among others.

Famous Food-Borne Illness Litigator Bill Marler points out some legal issues concerning food safety. Click Here to read his latest article on the topic.